2016 ballot measure TV ads
More than 160 statewide ballot measures will go before voters around the country this year. At least 42 of them are being fought on the TV airwaves with ads trying to sway voters, according to media tracker Kantar Media/CMAG. Here are the five most expensive so far based on estimated TV ad spending per voter:
- Massachusetts, Question 2: $18.5 million total — $3.78 per eligible voter: A group supporting the measure, which seeks to expand the state’s number of charter schools, has spent nearly twice as much on TV ads as those opposing it. The pro side is largely funded by New York-based Families for Excellent Schools Advocacy, which has also pushed for charter schools in the Empire State.
- Nevada, Question 1, $3 million total — $1.57 per eligible voter: The measure would require all gun purchases to be made through a licensed dealer, thereby requiring background checks for all buyers. Most TV ads aired so far support the measure and come from a group that has received funding from billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s group Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund. But a National Rifle Association-affiliated group is airing ads opposing it.
- Oregon, Measure 97, $4.5 million total — $1.55 per eligible voter: Voters are being asked to increase the minimum corporate tax. Flush with cash from unions, the proponents have aired the most ads. Funding of the opponents comes from Costco, Target and Kroger shopping chains, among other big businesses.
- New Jersey, Public Question 1, $7.9 million total — $1.31 per eligible voter: The vote will decide whether parts of New Jersey besides Atlantic City should have casinos. Nearly all of the ads so far have been aired by a group opposing the casinos.
- Arkansas, Issue 5, $2.3 million total — $1.07 per eligible voter: Voters are being asked to approve three casinos in the state. Ad spending has been neck-and-neck from both sides on the measure.
Sources: Center for Public Integrity analysis of Kantar Media/CMAG spending estimates through Oct. 10, U.S. Census population figures.