US Mid-term Elections: Politicians Spent Record $4.2 Billion on Ads

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What the money was spent on: See Carly Fiorina’s bizarre ‘demon sheep’ ad here

Politicians spent a staggering $4.2billion on campaign TV ads in the run-up to last week’s mid-term elections, it was claimed today.

The 1.48 million television spots were the most for any election in U.S. history – including the 2008 presidential campaign.

And some of the cities where candidates spent the most were in areas most blighted by the nation’s economic slump.

Top of the spending league was Ohio, where Democrats and Republicans battled tight races. Cleveland was first with the state capital, Columbus, coming in second.

Combined, politicians and third party groups spent $564million in Ohio, according to the non-partisan Campaign Finance Institute.

The political spending spree came against a backdrop of a state jobless rate of 10 per cent, its highest in 27 years.

In Cleveland, one out of every four commercials in the days before the election were paid for by a candidate or a political group, according to the Nielson Company that drew up the list.

Fourth in the high spending ad table was Sacramento in California, where former eBay boss Meg Whitman spent more than $140million of her own money in her unsuccessful bid to be governor and wealthy former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina also lost out in the Senate race.

The top five was rounded out by Portland, Oregon, in third and Seattle, Washington, in fifth place.

Springfield in Illinois, Reno, Nevada and Orlando and Palm Beach in Florida – all areas badly hit by the recession – round out the top ten along with Denver, Colorado.

The $4.2billion TV ad total was estimated by research firm Borrell Associates. Media consultants Kantar put it slightly lower at more than $3billion.

Analysts said prices for television spots doubled and even tripled their usual rates because of the high demand, particularly for coveted 11pm time slots.

‘This is their Christmas Day – and someone either buys their toys or they don’t,’ Tony D’Angelo, a TV sales director in Columbus, Ohio, told ABC News.

Station bosses in Seattle estimated the total revenue for political ads in the city could have been as high as $46million.

By David Gardner
Last updated at 8:41 AM on 9th November 2010

Source: Daily Mail

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