Softening the blow of advertising cutbacks by local businesses on TV stations throughout the country, political ad buying reached a new intensity last week -- particularly purchases by the Barack Obama presidential campaign on local TV. According to, which cited figures by Nielsen Media Research, the Obama campaign has spent about $195 million on ads since the primaries versus $99 million by John McCain's campaign. The Obama campaign is funded by individual contributions; McCain's, principally by the $85-million allotment from the Presidential Campaign Financing Fund. Evan Tracey, COO of Campaign Media Analysis Group, told that Obama is currently spending $3.5 million a day on TV ads. "If he does that through Election Day, it will be more than McCain got from the government for his entire general election campaign." Added "Republicans are using every wrinkle and loophole in -- ironically -- the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law to try to keep pace."