TV Dollars Mount in Race for Senate Control

The fight for control of the Senate continues to put money in TV station and cable TV coffers.

According to Every Voice Action, a group opposing former Gov. Mike Rounds in his South Dakota Senate race, it will put another $130,000 into a new statewide--two markets--TV ad buy over the next week, with ads on both TV stations and cable systems. that is just one new stream in a flood of political dollars to TV for this midterm election.

That $130,000 buy follows a $200,000 TV buy for the first ad targeting Rounds. That ad's flight ended Thursday (Oct. 2).

Over a quarter of a billion dollars has been spent on TV time for Senate races in this election cycle, according to the Center for Public Integrity (CPI) analysis of CMAG data, and the money keeps on coming as Republicans try to take control of both Houses of Congress for the first time since 2007.

The House appears likely to remain squarely in the Republican camp.

According to CPI (and CMAG) Democrats and their fans have bought more TV ads in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana and North Carolina, while Republican backers have bought more ads in Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan and Montana.

Those are among the states with the closest races, whose outcomes could determine the balance of power in the Senate.

CPI says that the biggest spenders on the Republicans side is Americans for Prosperity, backed by Charles and David Koch; Crossroads GPS, founded by Karl Rove; and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Democratic spending has been dominated by Senate Majority PAC, a super PAC, and Patriot Majority USA, backed by a friend of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.