Donald Trump's 2016 campaign has received the equivalent of $1.9 billion in free advertising, due to the unprecedented media attention surrounding the outspoken billionaire, a bombshell report released Tuesday claimed.
Using data from media research firm mediaQuant, The New York Times determined that the amount of free air time and coverage in newspapers and social media the outspoken mogul has racked up throughout the current election cycle is more than six times greater than that of his nearest competitor for the nomination, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
Cruz, the analysis found, has earned $313 million in free media. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio racked up the equivalent of $204 million, while Ohio Gov. John Kasich earned the equivalent of only $38 million, the numbers showed.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who dropped out of the race last month, earned the equivalent of $214 million.
The monetary amounts were established by calculating the equivalent advertising rates that would have been earned by the networks or outlets during Trump's airtime or coverage.
Trump, who has only bought $10 million in paid advertising, has appeared in countless interviews on morning political talk shows on various networks simply by calling in — a phenomenon that hadn't occurred nearly as often in past election cycles.
By comparison, Bush spent $82 million on paid advertising, while Rubio spent $55 million and Cruz spent $22 million.
On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton has earned the equivalent of $746 million in free media, compared with $321 for Bernie Sanders $321 million. Both candidates have spent about $28 million on ads.