Key findings from our investigation into state-level political TV ads

Key findings:

  • The 2010 'Citizens United' decision forced changes to campaign finance laws in 24 states, laying the groundwork for increased outside spending.
  • More than 90 independent groups have spent $55 million to shape state-level races, accounting for roughly $1 of every $5 spent on state-level political TV ads in 2014.
  • It would take 195 days to watch the more than 540,000 political TV ads that have run in 44 state-level races so far this cycle.
  • While it’s a midterm cycle for federal elections, more than 6,300 political seats are at stake in the states — the most in four years.
  • Republican Governors Association is the top spending independent group so far — it has poured more than $11.4 million into 13 state races.
  • The bulk of political spending is almost certainly still to come — in 2010, 55 percent of the overall spending came in the final two months.