Democrats heavily outspending Republicans in gubernatorial TV ads

09/28/2011 11:20 AM

With six weeks until the general election, TVs across the state are being bombarded with political ads involving this fall’s gubernatorial contest.

You’ve probably seen Steve Beshear’s or Kentucky Family Values ads quite frequently.
David Williams and his ads? Not as much.

The obvious reasoning behind that is Beshear’s campaign war chest is filled more than Williams. But Pure Politics dug deeper into campaign TV spending to figure out how big the spending divide between Democratic groups and Republican groups really is.

Here’s a hint: it’s a large margin.

The figures show that Republican spending efforts are lagging far behind their counterparts. That’s according to August and September ad buys made on Insight Communications’ cable network across the state.

For those two months, Williams spent $2,600 in August and $41,000 in September. The Republican-affiliated group, Restoring America, is now spending $60,000 for the last week of September. Of course, that ad buy just began.

And the Republican Governors Association’s group, Bluegrass Prosperity, spent $13,000 in August, but nothing in September.

On the Democratic side, Beshear’s re-election campaign has been burning through money, spending $90,000 in August and $107,000 in September.

And the outside Democratic group Kentucky Family Values spent $200,000 on ads in August. But it let up in September with just $17,000.

The difference between total spending for the two parties is $298,000, with Democrats having that clear cash advantage. Much of that is boosted by Kentucky Family Values’ big spending in August, but Beshear has not been too far behind.

That’s one reason why Beshear has been able to run up the score in the polls.

And this represents just a sliver of total spending because the candidates have purchased hundreds of thousands of additional dollars on local broadcast networks as well.

But it gives a good idea of the rate of spending for both parties in this governor’s race.

-Reporting by Kenny Colston

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