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 September 17, 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): $139,400

* 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): $18,900

* 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): $33,320

* 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): $39,420

* 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): $117,880

* 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): $111,730

* 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): $35,000


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): $72,700


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): $332,460


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): $154,970


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): $103,900


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): $87,600


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): $1,032,890


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): $79,480


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): $72,100


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): $262,220


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): $342,420


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): $249,960


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): $133,920


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): $46,810


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): $15,870


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): $93,310


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): $222,240


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): $17,240


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): $357,940


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): $87,210


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): $186,740


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): $207,000


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): $29,620


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): $139,940


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): $318,200


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): $387,470


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): $233,930


August 13, 2018 - Pregnant When I Was a Teenager

This ad features a woman who says "I am the voice of a lot of women of my generation who died from an illegal abortion."

Sponsor: Planned Parenthood Action Fund

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $54,750


August 14, 2018 - Privacy

This ad argues "a woman's right to have her own healthcare decisions - that's freedom, that's what America is."

Sponsor: Planned Parenthood Action Fund

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $41,140


August 16, 2018 - Right Idea Collins

This ad asks viewers to "encourage her [Sen. Collins] to continue her thoughtful and balanced approach to the confirmation process."

Sponsor: One Nation

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $233,200

 

August 16, 2018 - ND Washington Lobbyist

This ad features conservatives criticizing Kavanaugh as "the establishment pick," and argued Kavanaugh has "ruled for special interests" and "lives the high life in Washington."

Sponsor: Demand Justice Initiative

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $34,520

 

August 16, 2018 - IN Washington Lobbyist

This ad features conservatives criticizing Kavanaugh as "the establishment pick," and argued Kavanaugh has "ruled for special interests" and "lives the high life in Washington."

Sponsor: Demand Justice Initiative

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $46,100


August 16, 2018 - WV Washington Lobbyist

This ad features conservatives criticizing Kavanaugh as "the establishment pick," and argued Kavanaugh has "ruled for special interests" and "lives the high life in Washington."

Sponsor: Demand Justice Initiative

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $52,140


August 16, 2018 - Louisa Garry

In this ad, Louisa Garry says Kavanaugh is "of the highest integrity as a person" and "would be a great Supreme Court Justice."

Sponsor: Judicial Crisis Network

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $188,020

 

August 17, 2018 - Playing Games Collins

This ad argues "Susan Collins is playing political games with Maine women."

Sponsor: Demand Justice Initiative

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $191,260


August 18, 2018 - Take Away

This ad argues "your right to self-defense depends on this vote" and asks viewers to "tell Senator Donnelly, defend our right to self-defense - confirm Judge Kavanaugh."

Sponsor: National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $1,590


August 22, 2018 - Says She Supports Murkowski

This ad says Kavanaugh "called a judge who fought against the Roe decisions his hero" and ask viewers to "Tell Lisa Murkowski women's lives are on the line."

 

Sponsor: Demand Justice Initiative

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $96,270


August 29, 2018 - Impeccable Qualifications

This ad says "the Supreme Court itself has relied on Kavanaugh's judicial opinions 13 times."

Sponsor: Judicial Crisis Network

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $32,200


August 30, 2018 - Creed Murkowski

This ad says "part of the creed of Alaska is that we have the right to privacy."

Sponsor: Planned Parenthood Federation of America

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $58,720


September 2, 2018 - Breaking News Collins

This ad simulates news broadcasts, saying "by a 5-4 margin, the Supreme Court...sided with the Trump Administration to overturn the Affordable Care Act" and that "Brett Kavanaugh cast the deciding vote."

Sponsor: Protect Our Care

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $14,230
 


September 3, 2018 - Michelle Collins 60

In this ad, a Maine citizen says "I am worried that all of our daughters will not have a choice."

Sponsor: NARAL Pro-Choice America

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $319,050


September 4, 2018 - Severe Threat Murkowski

This ad says "a vote for Kavanaugh is a vote to end Roe v. Wade, criminalize abortion, and punish women."

Sponsor: Vote Vets Action Fund

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $24,080


September 4, 2018 - Severe Threat Collins

This ad says "a vote for Kavanaugh is a vote to end Roe v. Wade, criminalize abortion, and punish women."

Sponsor: Vote Vets Action Fund

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $87,020


September 4, 2018 - Jeff Landry

This ad says "the Senate needs to put gridlock aside and confirm Brett Kavanaugh."

Sponsor: 45Committee

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $41,490


September 4, 2018 - Logan Collins

This ad says "I fought for your freedom, Senator Collins. Now it's your turn to fight for mine."

Sponsor: Vote Vets Action Fund

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $84,830


September 5, 2018 - The More They Like Him

This ad says "members of Maine's legislature voiced support for Kavanaugh."

Sponsor: State Government Leadership Foundation

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $57,540

 

September 6, 2018 - MT Two Faces

This ad says "Jon Tester has two faces. In Montana, he says he supports gun rights, but in Washington D.C., his votes tell a different story."

Sponsor: NRA Institute for Legislative Action

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $207,800

 


September 6, 2018 - What's the Truth

This ad says, "no wonder the Washington politicos don't like Kavanaugh - he's not one of them."

Sponsor: One Nation

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $99,380


September 6, 2018 - Hearing Testimony

This ad features testimony from the Kavanaugh hearings, and asks viewers to "Tell your Senator, confirm Kavanaugh."

Sponsor: Judicial Crisis Network

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $98,990


September 8, 2018 - Hearing Testimony

This ad says "the more people get to know Brett Kavanaugh, the more they like him."

Sponsor: State Government Leadership Foundation

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $141,050


September 9, 2018 - Protect Access

This ad says "protect access to safe and legal abortion - reject Brett Kavanaugh,"

Sponsor: Planned Parenthood Action Fund

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $49,400


September 12, 2018 - Simple Test Collins

This ad says "Kavanaugh fails Collins' own test - if she votes for him now, she won't just be breaking her word, she'll be responsible for gutting Roe."

Sponsor: Demand Justice Initiative

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $5,450


September 13, 2018 - What They Had to Say Collins

In this ad, one woman says, "if she [Sen. Collins] really believes in women's rights... then she needs to stand up."

Sponsor: Planned Parenthood Action Fund

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $73,350


 

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.