- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 24, 2014

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Nearly two of every three dollars spent on television advertising in this year’s primary races for state school superintendent were spent attacking candidates in the race, an analysis of the advertisements show.

The analysis, by the non-partisan Center for Public Integrity, shows about $3.9 million was spent on television advertising through Sept. 8 for state-level offices, including superintendent, governor, corporation commissioner and state legislative races. That’s an increase from about $3.3 million spent during a comparable period in 2010.

The analysis did not include spending on television advertising for races for federal offices, such as Oklahoma’s open U.S. Senate seat that featured a competitive Republican primary.

The data shows that of the $2.1 million spent on television advertising in the state superintendent’s race, nearly $1.4 million was spent on attack ads. Of the estimated $1.2 million spent to air television ads by incumbent Republican Janet Barresi, who finished last in a three-way primary, more than $763,000 was spent targeting her primary opponent, Joy Hofmeister.

Hofmeister, meanwhile, spent $445,000 on television advertising, all of which targeted Barresi.

The total $3.9 million spent on TV advertising on primary races in Oklahoma was mostly on the race for superintendent ($2.1 million) and corporation commissioner ($1.2 million). The all-Republican race for corporation commissioner featured former House Speaker Todd Hiett against state Sen. Cliff Branan. Hiett won the race with 52 percent of the vote.

The Center for Public Integrity reviewed data about political advertising on national cable and broadcast television in all of the country’s 210 media markets. The organization used research from Kantar Media/CMAG, which tracks political advertising and offers a widely accepted estimate of the money spent to air each spot.

These figures only represent part of the money spent on political advertising. They do not include the money spent on ads on radio, online and direct mail, as well television ads on local cable systems or the cost of producing the messages. That means the total cost of spending on political ads can be significantly higher.

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Online:

Center for Public Integrity: http://www.publicintegrity.org/who-calls-shots

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