- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Donald Trump has received nearly $2 billion worth of free media coverage — more than all the remaining 2016 presidential candidates combined, a new study has found.

MediaQuant tracked the media coverage of each candidate and computed a dollar value based on advertising rates. The study collected positive, neutral and negative media mentions about a given candidate appearing in print, broadcast and social media, and those mentions were weighted by the estimated reach of the media source, The New York Times reported.

The study found that Mr. Trump got $400 million worth of free media last month, about what John McCain spent on his entire 2008 presidential campaign, the Times reported.

Over the course of his campaign, Mr. Trump has received $1.9 billion worth of free media coverage — twice the estimated $746 million that Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton received, the study said.

Democratic candidate Bernard Sanders came in third, bringing in $321 million of free coverage, followed by Republican candidate Ted Cruz at $313 million.

Meanwhile, Mr. Trump has spent only $10 million in paid advertising, paling in comparison to his rivals. Jeb Bush spent the most, $82 million, and Marco Rubio spent the second-most at $55 million. Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Sanders both spent roughly $28 million.

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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