Follow the Money: Tracking TV Spending on the Kavanaugh Nomination

See which groups are buying airtime in the fight over Trump’s SCOTUS pick — and even view the ads

July 26, 2018
The battle over Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court could attract record amounts of spending. In addition to groups whose identities and positions are well-known, groups that do not disclose their donors will likely play an unprecedented role in the fight.
 
As a tool for reporters, advocates, and the public, the Brennan Center is using the chart below to track all television ad spending around the nomination, including the cost of individual ad buys, spenders’ identities, target markets, and more so you can easily see who’s wielding influence, and how, to determine the makeup of the nation’s highest court. We’ll be updating the chart each week as new data becomes available, and we’ll highlight the most noteworthy developments.
 

* These ads were launched before the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh.

Kantar Media/CMAG estimates last updated on August 13, 2018


Television Advertisements


June 29, 2018 – Another Great Justice

This ad says that “President Trump has proven that he wants the best of the best on the Supreme Court” and warns that “like they did before, extremists will lie and attack the nominee.”

Sponsor: Judicial Crisis Network

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $126,980

* This ad was launched before the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh.


July 6, 2018 – If Trump Has His Way Murkowski

This ad says “if Donald Trump has his way, the next Supreme Court will turn the court against a woman’s constitutional right to safe, legal abortion."

Sponsor: Demand Justice Initiative

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $17,470

* This ad was launched before the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh.

 

July 6, 2018 – If Trump Has His Way Collins

This ad says “if Donald Trump has his way, the next Supreme Court will turn the court against a woman’s constitutional right to safe, legal abortion."

Sponsor: Demand Justice Initiative

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $21,930

* This ad was launched before the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh.


July 7, 2018 – Strong and Independent Murkowski

This ad says that when “politicians tried to undermine the liberty of women, she [Sen. Murkowski] stood up and said no.”

Sponsor: American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $36,170

* This ad was launched before the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh.


July 7, 2018 – Independent Voice Collins

This ad says "when politicians tried to undermine the liberty of women, she [Sen. Collins] stood up and said no," and argues that Trump's "nominee must publicly declare a position on Roe."

Sponsor: American Civil Liberties Union of Maine

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $71,710

* This ad was launched before the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh.


July 9, 2018 – The Deciding Vote 60

This ad argues “your most fundamental right to self-defense could be extinguished,” and argues that “we are the last place on earth that still believes in the fundamental, self-given right to self defense, and we don’t care if we’re the last ones in the arena.”

Sponsor: National Rifle Association

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $80,130

* This ad was launched before the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh.


July 11, 2018 – What We Know Murkowski

This ad argues "Trump says he'd only pick justices who would reverse Roe v. Wade," and who would "overturn the Affordable Care Act."

Sponsor: Demand Justice Initiative

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $31,840


July 11, 2018  – What We Know Collins

This ad argues "Trump says he'd only pick justices who would reverse Roe v. Wade," and who would "overturn the Affordable Care Act."

Sponsor: Demand Justice Initiative

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $45,730


July 13, 2018 – Best of the Best

This ad says Kavanaugh’s “life has been defined by hard work and excellence,” and characterizes Kavanaugh as “strong and independent, he applies the constitution just as it was written.”

Sponsor: Judicial Crisis Network

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $300,910

July 13, 2018 – Thanks to Senator Joe Manchin

This ad warns that "Kavanaugh refused to uphold key patient protections in the past, and if he joins the court, he could vote to end these protections for good."

Sponsor: Demand Justice Initiative

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $125,670


July 13, 2018 – Thanks to Senator Heitkamp

This ad warns that "Kavanaugh refused to uphold key patient protections in the past, and if he joins the court, he could vote to end these protections for good."

Sponsor: Demand Justice Initiative

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $104,700


July 13, 2018 – Thanks to Senator Donnelly

This ad warns that "Kavanaugh refused to uphold key patient protections in the past, and if he joins the court, he could vote to end these protections for good."

Sponsor: Demand Justice Initiative

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $78,880


July 16, 2018 – Grand Slam

This ad says Kavanaugh “has earned respect from both sides of the aisle.”

Sponsor: Judicial Crisis Network

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $930,510


July 15, 2018 – What We Know

This ad says “Trump said he would only pick judges who would reverse Roe v. Wade,” and that “Trump made it clear his nominee would vote to overturn the Affordable Care Act.”

Sponsor: Demand Justice Initiative

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $71,050


July 15, 2018 – Truths

This ad argues Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court "threatens to continue selling out America to powerful special interests," noting "We hold these truths to be self-evident, and we will hold our Senators accountable." 

Sponsor: End Citizens United

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $65,050


July 23 - IN Another Great Nominee

This ad asks if Sen. Donnelly is "more interested in siding with Chuck Schumer and Elizabeth Warren than Hoosiers?" and asks, "Has he forgotten who he represents?"

Sponsor: Judicial Crisis Network

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $246,020


July 23 - ND Another Great Nominee

This ad argues, "Heidi Heitkamp has a decision to make: does she support Kavanaugh and prove she's on the side of the President and you, or does she side with the radical liberals?"

Sponsor: Judicial Crisis Network

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $343,600


July 23 - WV Another Great Nominee

This ad asks viewers to "Tell Joe Manchin you won't be fooled by his tricks - and you won't forget how he votes on Kavanaugh."

Sponsor: Judicial Crisis Network

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $172,390


July 24, 2018 - Another Great Judge Jones

This ad asks if Sen. Doug Jones will "side with the people of Alabama, and support Kavanaugh, or will he join radical liberal Senators?" and asks viewers to "Tell Doug Jones his vote on Kavanaugh is something you'll never forget." 

Sponsor: Judicial Crisis Network

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $119,930


August 2, 2018 - Kathryn Cherry

In this ad, a former Kavanaugh clerk says "he also treated me as an equal and never made me feel like a minority."

Sponsor: Judicial Crisis Network

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $41,830


August 6, 2018 - Worried Murkowski

This ad says Trump "is pushing for a new Supreme Court Justice who could vote with him and overturn these [healthcare] protections."

Sponsor: Protect Our Care

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $14,200


August 7, 2018 - Kathryn Cherry Stickler

In this ad, a former Kavanaugh clerk says she hopes "the Senate confirms him quickly, because he will be an excellent Supreme Court Justice."

Sponsor: Judicial Crisis Network

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $46,430


August 7, 2018 - JD Vance

In this ad, a former Kavanaugh student says Kavanaugh "applies the law faithfully."

Sponsor: Judicial Crisis Network

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $60,470


August 7, 2018 - Worried Collins

This ad says Trump "is pushing for a new Supreme Court Justice who could vote with him and overturn these [healthcare] protections."

Sponsor: Protect Our Care

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $18,410


August 7, 2018 - WV Four Liberals

This ad says "four liberals on the Supreme Court would take away your right to self-defense... President Trump chose Brett Kavanaugh to break this tie."

Sponsor: NRA Institute for Legislative Action

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $78,100


August 7, 2018 - Four Liberals Murkowski

This asks viewers to "tell Senator Murkowski, defend our right to self-defense."

Sponsor: National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $22,890


August 7, 2018 - ND Four Liberals 

This ad says "four liberals on the Supreme Court would take away your right to self-defense... President Trump chose Brett Kavanaugh to break this tie."

Sponsor: National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $46,410


August 7, 2018 - IN Four Liberals 

This ad says "four liberals on the Supreme Court would take away your right to self-defense... President Trump chose Brett Kavanaugh to break this tie."

Sponsor: National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $59,040


August 8, 2018 - Four Liberals 

This ad says "four liberals on the Supreme Court would take away your right to self-defense... President Trump chose Brett Kavanaugh to break this tie."

Sponsor: National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $11,150


August 8, 2018 - Montreal Collins

In this ad, a woman recounts, "I went to my doctor, and he said, you need to go to Montreal for an abortion," and asks Sen. Collins to "protect rights for women."

Sponsor: Planned Parenthood Action Fund

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $34,350


August 8, 2018 - ND Confirm Kavanaugh

In this ad, President Trump says "there is no one in America more qualified for this position, and no one more deserving." 

Sponsor: America First Policies, Inc.

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $48,770


August 8, 2018 - IN Confirm Kavanaugh

This ad asks viewers to "Tell Senator Donnelly this is no time for obstructionist politics."

Sponsor: America First Policies, Inc.

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $57,320


August 8, 2018 - WV Confirm Kavanaugh

This ad asks viewers to "Tell Joe Manchin enough - he works for us, not Chuck Schumer."

Sponsor: America First Policies, Inc.

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $38,790 


Digital Advertisements


June 30, 2018 – Another Great Justice 30

This ad says that “President Trump has proven that he wants the best of the best on the Supreme Court” and warns that “like they did before, extremists will lie and attack the nominee.”

Sponsor: Judicial Crisis Network

Website Count (Kantar Media/CMAG): 10


July 7, 2018 – Trump's Anti-Choice Judges

Download Ad

This ad says "Trump's anti-choice judges threaten womens' freedoms."

Sponsor: Demand Justice Initiative

Website Count (Kantar Media/CMAG): 181


July 11, 2018 – Counting On You Murkowski

Download Ad

Sponsor: Planned Parenthood Federation of America

Website Count (Kantar Media/CMAG): 5


July 13, 2018 – Tell Senator Cornyn to Vote No

Sponsor: NARAL Pro-Choice America

Website Count (Kantar Media/CMAG): 1


July 13, 2018 – Kavanaugh Will End Roe v. Wade

Download Ad

This ad says Kavanaugh will “criminalize abortion,” and asks viewers to “Tell Senator Heller to VOTE NO.”

Sponsor: NARAL Pro-Choice America

Website Count (Kantar Media/CMAG): 1


July 15, 2018 – Best of the Best 30

This ad says Kavanaugh’s “life has been defined by hard work and excellence,” and characterizes Kavanaugh as “strong and independent, he applies the constitution just as it was written.”

Sponsor: Judicial Crisis Network

Website Count (Kantar Media/CMAG): 1


July 21, 2018 - Need Your Leadership Collins

Sponsor: Planned Parenthood Federation of America

Website Count (Kantar Media/CMAG): 1


July 23 - IN Protect Our Healthcare

Sponsor: Demand Justice Initiative

Website Count (Kantar Media/CMAG): 35

 

July 23 - WV Protect Our Healthcare

Sponsor: Demand Justice Initiative

Website Count (Kantar Media/CMAG): 5


Methodology


Data on ad airings and spending on ads are calculated and prepared by Kantar Media/CMAG, which captures satellite data in the nation’s largest media markets. CMAG’s estimates do not reflect ad agency commissions or the costs of producing advertisements, nor do they reflect the cost of ad buys on local cable channels. Cost estimates are revised by Kantar Media/CMAG when it receives updated data, resulting in some fluctuations in the reported ad spending.