State ad wars tracker

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 Updated:

Who's calling the shots?: Ad wars: TV ads in 2014 state races
state total
per eligible voter
current through December 8, 2014
estimated spending on TV ads parties groups candidates $10 million $1 million
1.5 million ads
$856 million
estimated TV ad spending on
state races in the 2014 cycle
What's behind this number?
978,400 ads
$537.1 million
by candidates
195,000 ads
$115.5 million
by parties
291,300 ads
$200.8 million
by groups

Kantar Media/CMAG monitors TV signals for political advertising nationwide, capturing ads each time they run. Then, using a proprietary formula, it estimates how much placing each ad costs.

Like any estimate, it's imperfect. Here's what it covers, and what it doesn't:

  • Just placement on TV — The estimate only covers TV ads, not other kinds of political messages, such as ads that appear on radio or online. The estimate also only includes how much money a candidate or organization spent to place the ad, not to make it.
  • No local cable — Kantar Media monitors local broadcast TV in all 210 media markets, as well as national network and national cable TV advertising. If an ad runs on a local cable channel, it won't be counted here.
  • Any political ad — Unlike records filed at the Federal Elections Commission, this information includes so-called “issue ads” that mention a Senate candidate but don’t overtly call for the candidate’s election or defeat. Unless run immediately before a primary or general election, issue ad spending does not have to be reported to the FEC.
  • No future ads — Unlike some records from the Federal Communications Commission, it only counts ads that have already run. Future ad buys are not included.
  • Subject to dispute — Since the estimate is based on a formula, it may not exactly reflect what placing the ad actually cost. Think of the cost estimate as a well-informed guess, which can provide useful points of comparison.

Have more questions? Try this FAQ »

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Total est. cost
Candidates
Parties
Groups
1.
$114.1 million
2.
$88.7 million
3.
$78.8 million
4.
$60.9 million
5.
$50.3 million
6.
$49.3 million
7.
$33.8 million
8.
$29.7 million
9.
$29.2 million
10.
$29.1 million
11.
$28.3 million
12.
$27.3 million
13.
$26 million
14.
$25.6 million
15.
$18 million
16.
$13.9 million
17.
$13.8 million
18.
$13.3 million
19.
$12.1 million
20.
$11.7 million
21.
$10.9 million
22.
$10.8 million
23.
$8.9 million
24.
$8.7 million
25.
$8.5 million
26.
$7.3 million
27.
$6.7 million
28.
$6.2 million
29.
$6 million
30.
$5.1 million
31.
$3.4 million
32.
$3 million
33.
$2.8 million
34.
$2.6 million
35.
$2.5 million
36.
$1.8 million
37.
$1.7 million
38.
$980,300
39.
$897,900
40.
$880,800
41.
$545,700
42.
$422,400
43.
$368,600
44.
$359,100
45.
$318,600

Source: Center for Public Integrity analysis of Kantar Media/CMAG, National Institute on Money in State Politics data
What's behind these numbers?

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