Monday, October 5, 2020

New: Virginia Political Ads Newsletter

Week of October 2nd

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US House of Representatives
Political Ad Spending in September

Source: Kantar Media

Republican hopes of winning back two congressional seats that flipped blue two years ago ran into Democratic fundraising superiority during the critical month of September. 
  • In the 7th congressional district, Democrats spent $2.5 million in September to promote Rep. Abigail Spanberger on TV, radio and Facebook -- $914,000 more than Republicans mustered for state Del. Nick Freitas, her GOP challenger.
  • The 2nd congressional district rematch between Rep. Elaine Luria and former Rep. Scott Taylor was more competitive in terms of ad spending. But Democrats held the edge, $1.8 million to $1.5 million.
Democrats held an even more lopsided advantage in the 5th congressional district, a normally reliably red district that has been put into play this year as Republicans have been split by a bitter nomination fight. Conservative Bob Good knocked off the sitting congressman, Rep. Denver Riggleman. 

In the first three weeks of September, Democrats held a 6:1 advantage in combined spending for radio, TV and Facebook. In the final week of the month, the GOP Congressional Leadership fund dropped a $150,000 TV buy, which gave Good his first weekly spending advantage over Webb.

5th District

Ad spending  |  Watch TV spots  |  View Facebook ads

Republican Bob Good -- badly outspent since Labor Day-- finally got a financial lifeline from national Republicans last week. The Congressional Leadership Fund began airing TV spots that picked up on Good's claim that Democrat Cameron Webb wants to "defund the police." The ad plays audio from Webb in which he told a podcast that defunding the police is necessary because "all this extra spending on police is actually part of the problem."
The Webb campaign counter-attacked with a spot that accuses Good of voting to cut local law enforcement spending when he served on the Campbell County Board of Supervisors. The narrative intones: "Webb won't defund police, but Bob Good already did."

Other Congressional Races

A new week of spending and advertisements are available for the following congressional races in Virginia.

2nd District
Ad spending  |  Watch TV spots  |  View Facebook ads

7th District
Ad spending  |  Watch TV spots  |  View Facebook ads
US President
Ad spending Watch TV spots  |  View Facebook Ads

Presidential Broadcast TV

Source: Kantar Media

This morning, President Donald Trump tweeted, "Working hard in Virginia. It's IN PLAY." But this effort has yet to show up in TV buy data compiled by Kantar Media. When it comes to local cable TV, Trump and Republican groups have been outspent more than 2:1 since August. Unless something changes, the campaign of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will own the local broadcast airwaves from now until Election Day. Biden has reserved nearly $1.5 million in airtime during the final four weeks of the campaign. Last week, Biden launched six different spots in Virginia, all of them positive.
US Senate
Ad spending  |  Watch TV spots  |  View Facebook Ads

Without any outside help, Republican Daniel Gade has no chance of matching the broadcast TV firepower of U.S. Sen. Mark Warner. In September, Warner ran ads across all of Virginia's major TV markets. Last month, Gade was most competitive in the Richmond and Hampton Roads markets.

To put these September numbers in perspective, the Senate race generated less TV spending in a statewide contest than the Spanberger-Freitas showdown in a single congressional district north of Richmond.

Broadcast and Cable TV Spending in September
Source: Kantar Media
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Note: Ad spending data from  Kantar Media and the Facebook Ad Library

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