10 things to know about 2016 state elections

  • More than 640,000 ads have aired so far about 2016 races for state offices. That's already more than what aired in the comparable 2012 races.
  • The dozen governors’ races dominate the airwaves. They account for 1 out of every 2 TV ads aired about state races.
  • An estimated $54 million has been spent on political TV ads about Missouri’s state elections. That’s the equivalent of more than $12 spent per possible voter.
  • Ads about statewide ballot measures in 23 states have cost more than $340 million, with California leading the spending, followed by Massachusetts, then Oregon.
  • About $188 million has been spent on the TV ads about California’s statewide ballot measures alone, with a third of that spent on Prop. 61 that calls for limiting drug prices.
  • More than $20 million has been spent to air TV ads on five state measures to legalize recreational marijuana. About 60 percent of that money has been spent by groups seeking legalization.
  • Montana’s Republican gubernatorial nominee Greg Gianforte has run more TV ads than any state candidate in the country this election season. If aired back-to-back, they would last nearly 13 straight days.
  • Outside groups are playing a bigger role this election, accounting for more than 28 percent of the spending on TV ads about state races.
  • Proxy groups for the Republican and Democratic governors associations are duking it out in the Vermont governor’s race, airing a third of all the TV ads about the race.
  • With the shape of the Kansas Supreme Court at stake this election, two dueling outside groups have aired an estimated $900,000 worth of ads combined on whether voters should kick out five of the seven sitting justices.