- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 24, 2014

ST. LOUIS (AP) - The absence of top-of-the-ticket statewide races in the November general election is resulting in far fewer political ads on Missouri television than in most other states.

A survey released Wednesday by the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Public Integrity shows that a total of seven candidates spent just $335,800 on TV ads through early September, a 59 percent decline from the comparable period in 2010. By contrast, TV ad spending in 31 states topped $1 million. Missouri ranked 35th on the list.

The survey found that much of the spending came from independent political groups no longer constrained by donation limits following a 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in what is known as the Citizens United ruling. Overall, candidates and non-candidates have spent $281 million for TV time in state-level races.

The Missouri auditor’s race is the only statewide contest in an election year that doesn’t include the office of governor or either U.S. Senate seat. The study does not include money spent on ads in U.S. House races, including those in Missouri.

State senate candidate Bob Onder, a St. Charles County Republican and former state representative, accounted for nearly half of the TV money spent in Missouri, spending $152,700.

The non-partisan 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 spend 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.


Online: https://www.publicintegrity.org/who-calls-shots

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