State Elections

Published — October 29, 2015 Updated — November 5, 2015 at 3:30 pm ET

How TV ads are shaping Tuesday’s election

A scene from a political ad sponsored by the Bluegrass Alliance for Consumer Rights attacks Republican attorney general candidate Whitney Westerfield for allegedly taking time off work to get a pedicure. More than $2 million in broadcast TV airtime has been spent on the race for the open seat ahead of Tuesday's election. Screenshot/ Bluegrass Alliance for Consumer Rights

10 things to know about the ad wars in the 2015 state races


Nov. 5, 2015: This story has been corrected.

Voters head to the polls Tuesday to decide major races in several states, while Louisiana gears up for its runoff election on Nov. 21 to determine its next governor and several other top offices.

Though overshadowed by the 2016 presidential contest, these state elections have generated thousands of television ads worth millions of dollars.

Who voters choose to represent them will have important consequences for Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Virginia. And voters will use ballot measures to decide important policy issues ranging from marijuana legalization in Ohio to campaign finance reform in Maine.

Here are 10 things to know about this year’s TV election ad wars:

Source: Center for Public Integrity analysis of Kantar Media/CMAG data current through Oct. 26.

Correction, Nov. 5, 2015, 3:27 p.m.: An earlier version of this story reported the incorrect amount that pro-pot advocates spent on TV airtime trying to pass a measure legalizing marijuana in Ohio. At the time, they had spent an estimated $4.8 million.

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