Tracking the ad buys: More action in the Senate and 6th District races

08/30/2010 12:39 PM

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jack Conway went on the air with his first commercial of the fall election on Monday morning, while Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, a conservative political organization, has made another ad buy from Tuesday through Sept. 6.

Conway’s ad touts his work as attorney general on the issue of illegal drugs. (Check back later for more coverage of this issue on cn|2 Politics). The Conway campaign sent out an e-mail to supporters notifying them of the spot and using it to help raise money in Conway’s bid to defeat Republican candidate Rand Paul.

“Rand Paul is hemorrhaging support because of his failure to understand fundamental problems in Kentucky such as drug abuse — and now is the time to strike,” the message from campaign manager Jonathan Drobis said. Drobis said the campaign has collected $63,000 toward its $260,000 fund-raising goal.

Conway’s campaign is spending $11,125 on WKYT-27 in Lexington between Aug. 30 and Sept. 5 on the new ad. That’s enough to buy 42 spots — about half the number 6th District congressional candidates Andy Barr, the Republican, and U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler, the Democrat, are airing during the same week.

On the CBS affiliate in Lexington, Conway is airing eight ads each day Monday through Friday and one ad on Saturday (during “48 Hours”) and one on Sunday (during “CBS Sunday Morning.”)

While Paul, the Republican candidate, is not yet on the air with his own commercials, a conservative organization Crossroads GPS launched an ad last week that highlights Conway’s statements in favor of the health care reform bill that passed Congress in March. The reform bill is unpopular among many Kentuckians.

The group, which is a 501©4 and a sister organization to American Crossroads, chaired by former Republican National Committee Chairman R. Michael Duncan of Inez, has made another ad purchase this week. It’s unclear whether it will be a new commercial or an extension of the run of the one that’s already on the air.

Crossroads GPS will spend $64,936 in the Lexington TV market, including $25,325 for 51 ads on WKYT-27 between Tuesday and Sept. 6, according to the public ad files at WKYT.

6th District ad buys

Suddenly the race in Kentucky with the largest ad presence is the 6th Congressional District.

Chandler, who is running for his fourth term, has begun airing an ad that criticizes Barr for wanting to privatize Social Security — a claim that the Herald-Leader’s campaign watch-dog meter ruled to be mostly false.

Chandler, who started the fall with a $1.7 million warchest, had two separate ad buys for this week in the Lexington market, which covers the 16 county-congressional district in Central Kentucky. Here’s what he’s spending:

  • 8/26-9/1: $12,646 in Lexington, including $5,185 at WKYT-27 for 22 total spots
  • 8/26-9/1: $53,390 in Lexington, including $21,890 at WKYT-27 for 70 total spots

Barr has nearly matched Chandler. He spent $70,659 in the Lexington market, including $28,970 at WKYT-27 between Aug. 26 and Tuesday.

Barr will get help from the National Republican Congressional Committee, which put in its purchase for ads last week that start are scheduled to begin airing Sept. 17.

Here are the NRCC’s ad buys for the Lexington market:

  • 9/13-9/16: $34,873
  • 9/17-9/23: $36,400
  • 9/24-9/30: $74,509
  • 10/1-10/7: $72,318
  • 10/8-10/14: $72,573
  • 10/15-10/21: $51,545

- Ryan Alessi


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