FRANKFORT, Ky. – If you are already tired of political ads you may want to stop watching TV, it’s only going to get worse.
With just 63 days until the general election, Kentucky’s airwaves are about to get flooded.
“You’re getting ready to see a deluge of television ads even from the down ballots,” said Dan Bayens, Co-Founder and Creative Director of Republican ad firm Content Creative Media. “You’re going to see non-stop political ads no matter where you live in Kentucky over the next two months.”
Gov. Matt Bevin has placed a $3.2 million dollar ad buy which begins airing Wednesday, September 4 through the General Election.
Attorney General Andy Beshear has spent $960,022 on television ads since the beginning of August running two positive spots. His campaign says he’ll remain on the air through the General Election.
Republican Governors Association through affiliate Putting Kentucky First has pumped $3.4 million into Kentucky’s airwaves since May attacking Democrat Andy Beshear.
The Democrat Governors Association affiliate Bluegrass Values has spent $571,075 on ads but that number is about to increase as they placed an ad buy to begin airing ads on September 24, Medium Buying says they have been dark since early August.
Pro-Beshear group Preserve, Protect, and Defend spent $451,554 on a Bevin attack ad through the month of August.
“I would kind of define the summer as RGA won June and July,” Bayens said. “Beshear and the Democrats made some progress back in August.”
Despite Republicans vastly outspending Democrats on ad buys, when it comes to the actual number of ads being viewed it’s been pretty even. That’s because it’s cheaper for a candidate to buy television air time than outside groups.
“A third party group pays two to three to even four times more for the exact same amount of time,” Bayens said. “It”s one of the reasons that Beshear has been able to close the gap on number of spots run. He’s been on TV during the month of August and so he’s been able to run more creative from his campaign directly while spending less money than RGA has spent.”
With Bevin’s ads set to air Wednesday that’s set to change but with a significant ad buy Beshear could catch up with Bevin pretty easily.
Whether Bevin’s ad will be positive or negative remains to be seen but up to date affiliate groups have been pumping out the attack ads. Traditionally, negative ads are used to catch up to an opponent and could be a signifier that a campaign thinks the race is close.
“I think at some point it will probably shift to contrast and negative ads from the campaign’s themselves,” Bayens said. “I think Beshear believes he’s ahead in this race, he’s released polling that shows him ahead, I think he believes his own polling and I think his ads reflect where he believes he is in the race. I think Bevin believes he’s going to win the race so I think both of those things could be true.”
The total spending on just television and radio ad buys is now over $8 million but that number is expected to go up as the General Election gets closer.