McCain Matches Obama's Olympic Ad Buy

John McCain needs to spend down the $35 million he had in the bank as of July 1 in advance of the Republican nominating convention. For that reason, it makes sense for him to spend more on Olympic advertising than Barack Obama will:

The McCain campaign made a last-minute $6 million ad buy, which tops the $5 million Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign announced last month it was buying during the Olympic Games, which begin Aug. 8.

Like the Obama team’s ad buy, the McCain campaign’s purchase includes network and cable spots. NBC Universal is airing 3,600 hours of Olympics coverage on its broadcast network and cable networks including NBC, CNBC, MSNBC, USA Network, Oxygen and Telemundo.

Once McCain officially receives the Republican nomination he can no longer spend privately-raised money in pursuit of the nomination. With millions in his campaign bank account, he needs to use it or lose it.

Once the convention is over, Obama is likely to raise and spend far more than the $84 million that McCain will receive. Then it will be up to the RNC to run enough in coordinated expenditures and independent advertising to keep McCain from being swamped.