Federal Politics

Published — May 3, 2012 Updated — May 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm ET

Study: Super PACs aired more ads than candidates

Negative advertising dominated airwaves

Introduction

Outside groups, including super PACs, have sponsored nearly 60 percent of the ads aired on broadcast television and national cable so far this election cycle, more than the candidates themselves, according to a new study.

During the same stretch in the 2008 election cycle, candidates were responsible for more than 96 percent of TV ads, according to the Wesleyan Media Project, which analyzed advertising data from Kantar Media/CMAG.

Travis Ridout, co-director of the Wesleyan Media Project, called this shift “eye-popping.”

Unbound by the campaign contribution caps that limit candidates to just $2,500 per donor, super PACs have been flush with cash and provided substantial air cover for most of the top-tier Republican candidates — a trend that is likely continue as Republican Mitt Romney faces off against President Barack Obama in the fall.

Created in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision in 2010, super PACs are permitted to accept unlimited contributions from individuals, corporations and unions to fund independent political ads that urge viewers to vote for or against candidates.

Restore Our Future, a super PAC supporting Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee, has spent more than $42 million on advertising according to the Center for Reponsive Politics, with 93 percent of it negative.

Super PACs accounted for more than six out of every 10 ads on national cable and broadcast television that featured Romney and opponents Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Jon Huntsman Jr.

The pro-Huntsman super PAC, called Our Destiny PAC, aired nearly 12 times as many ads as Huntsman’s own campaign. Romney and his super PAC aired nearly four-and-a-half times as many ads as his main opponents.

Overall, Romney’s campaign and Restore Our Future, a super PAC run by several former Romney aides, aired 79,700 television ads through April 22, with 62 percent produced by Restore Our Future.

The study found that seven of 10 ads aired so far this election cycle have been negative. That’s a stark contrast from the presidential contest four years ago when only one out of 10 ads during a similar period were negative.

Approximately half of all candidates’ TV ads to date have been negative and 86 percent of outside groups’ TV ads have been negative, according to the study. During the same period of the 2008 election cycle, less than 9 percent of candidates’ TV ads were negative and only a quarter of TV ads by outside groups were negative.

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SOUTH JERSEYTed SiroisMark SullivanTom LarkinAnonymous Recent comment authors
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Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Trump needs to conduct these activities because the entire MSM media, excluding Fox, is campaigning against him 24/7/365.

Didn’t Monica’s boyfriend’s wife and various criminal enterprises outspend Trump by almost 2-1?

CapitalistRoader
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CapitalistRoader

Why wouldn’t he get an early start on fund raising? Hillary outspent him two-to-one in 2016. The Dem’s are the party of big money. The President knows this and is attempting to get a jump on it. Of course the Dem candidate will outspend him in 2020 so it’s only rational that he starts fund raising now.

George Young
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George Young

Oh brother. We just 8 years of the Campaigner – in – Chief. Where was this journalistic rectal thermometer then. Just another article about 2000 words too long that merely takes another slap at Trump for something he far from initiated.

j stevenson
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j stevenson

The big difference between Trump and all the rest is his refusing to accept funds from lobbyists, so they don’t have the White House access they are used to. These are the donors who buy the presidency and are as pixxed off that he won the election as are the media and the Dems. Lobbyists have never been shut out of the WH and Trump has told them he is not for sale.

jan v
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jan v

all the lobbyists are running all our government agencies and all the career civil servants who know how to run the country have been fired. YOU think this is a good thing ? what a crock…

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Trump needs to be impeached and tossed in prison. Then have the key thrown away so he will never be free. Then he can see how it feels not to have freedom.

Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Thank you for the usual insightful leftist low IQ Snowflake response.

barney
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hes not imprisoning them hes sending them back to their country chill tf out

SOUTH JERSEY
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SOUTH JERSEY

WHY DONT YOU HAVE FREEDOM?

Tom Larkin
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Tom Larkin

First, something positive. I was happy to learn of empirical information in article. BUT, the article was so slanted against President Trump as to be deemed fake news (“Perhaps Trump just lied.” (Two different issues)). The article mentions that President Trump raised over $67 million, but ended 2018 with $19 million. President Trump spent over $40 million 2016 and 2017. President Trump conducted 57 political rallies. The article notes the hats and T-shirts sold, but NEVER MENTIONS THE INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF REPUBLICAN SENATORS during a mid-term election that lost the House and the number of political rallies in… Read more »

Ted Sirois
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Ted Sirois

At least Trump is getting donations from willing donors. Fresh from his first election, Obama used billions of our children’s tax dollars to save thousands of union jobs in the car industry and bailed out the banks and many Wall Street businesses. This secured his source of reelection funds for his reelection four years later.

South Jersey
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South Jersey

TRUMP 2020; IS AN AMAZINGLY SMART MAN! VERY ORIGINAL & CREATIVE. I AM HAPPY TO HAVE HIS AS POTUS.

SOUTH JERSEY
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SOUTH JERSEY

THIS ARTICLE WAS OBVIOUSLY WRITTEN BY, A TRUMP-HATE-GROUP. THAT FEELS; IT IS NOT NORMAL TO BE SUCCESSFUL WITH YOUR OWN BRAND NAME. WHEN, IF FACT, IT IS NORMAL! >>>>> THIS IS >>> FAKE NEWS!!! <<<< ie: A PACK-OF-LIES; SPUN INTO; DEFAMATION OF CHARACTER. FOR A SINISTER-AGENDA OF; FASCIST DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST, COUP D'ETAT

David
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David

Are you on some kind of drugs? Writing in caps makes me think that you are grumpy old fart or a uneducated hillbilly.