The Most Expensive Governor’s Race Produces the Worst Ad

What kind of TV ad does America’s most expensive governor’s race get for nearly $49 million (and counting)? Spots like this, which beg for new and stronger adjectives than the ones being used to describe it: “outrageous,” “demeaning,” “sexist,” and even, “laughable.”

The ad was produced, not by the Scott campaign, but by the College Republican National Committee (CRNC) on behalf of Florida Gov. Rick Scott. The increased “offshoring” of expenditures to outside groups like CRNC could explain why Scott is able to spend less this time around than when he bought his office in 2010 for $75 million of his own money. We can thank Citizens United for the ocean of cash and negative ads in every election since that 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision.

Look at the numbers in the Florida governor’s race this year, and you’ll see how much even a well-known Democratic candidate like former Gov. Charlie Crist is being outspent.

  • Total spent so far on TV ads by all groups: $48.4 million
  • Total spent by Republicans: $31 million
  • Total spent by Democrats: $17.6 million
  • Individual airing of Republican ads: 63,321
  • Individual airing of Democratic ads: 30,340
  • Price per voter (12 million) of all ads: $3.74

Three out of four of the ads were negative in tone, a strategy which recent polls suggest could be backfiring on Scott, whose ads have been overwhelmingly negative, and who is seeing an early lead diminish.


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