Donald Trump received $1.9bn in free advertising because of intense media coverage

The Republican frontrunner is looking to win big in five states on Tuesday

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The Independent US

Having sought out controversy and headlines since he declared his White House candidacy, Republican front-runner Donald Trump has received the equivalent of $1.9bin in free advertising as a result of the non-stop media coverage.

The New York Times, using data from mediaQuant, said that Mr Trump’s free advertising was based on a calculation related to the amount of media coverage he received and the equivalent advertising rates.

An-anti Trump protester shouts at the rally in Fayetteville

The coverage is many times more than that of his nearest rival, Senator Ted Cruz, who has earned the equivalent of $313m.

The free media has helped Mr Trump jump to the top of the Republican presidential standings despite having spent just $10m in paid advertising, which is only the sixth highest of all candidates. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush spent the most, $82m, and Florida Senator Marco Rubio spent the second-most at $55m.

Mr Trump is considered the front-runner to win the winner-take-all state of Florida on Tuesday night, and is in a tough race in Ohio, where Governor John Kasich has a small lead in multiple polls.

On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has earned $746m in free coverage, compared to $321m by Senator Bernie Sanders. They each have spent $28m on adverts.