President Obama's new TV ad attacking Mitt Romney and his record at Bain Capital will air in five battleground states this week. But apparently not for long.
The Obama campaign says the full two-minute spot - dubbed "Steel" - will air just once in targeted markets during the evening news on Wednesday.
Independent media trackers tell ABC News the buy is roughly $83,000 - a tiny amount compared to the multimillion dollar recent ad buys by pro-GOP super PACs and the Obama campaign's $25 million blitz initiated last week.
The small size of the messaging blitz drew mockery from some Republicans, who suggested it won't be effective at reaching swing voters.
"More people will likely have seen that ad today on [MSNBC's] Martin Bashir than as actual ads. And that's saying a lot," said Jonathan Collegio, a spokesman for the pro-GOP super PAC American Crossroads.
"With buys like these, the 1000-plus campaign payroll thing is starting to make sense," he said, referring to the Obama campaign's burgeoning staff.
Figures circulated by Collegio indicated the Obama campaign will spend roughly $6,700 in Virginia, $52,400 in Ohio; $7,900 in Pennsylvania; $2,000 in Colorado; and, $2,000 in Iowa. The campaign would not comment on the figures.
Obama aides insist even the limited exposure of a TV ad can be effective, driving viewers to a special website where they can find additional information on Romney, an extended version of the ad and share it with their friends.
UPDATE: An Obama campaign official writes to underscore that the attack on Romney's record at Bain was designed as a multi-media offensive, not limited to TV, and includes a significant online advertising component on YouTube, Facebook and Google search.