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Buying Time 2002

Our 2002 reporting continues the groundbreaking analysis conducted since 2000 examining the sponsorship, content, and costs of televised state supreme court campaign ads.

Published: October 23, 2002

2002 saw an increase in special interest spend­ing on tele­vi­sion advert­ise­ments, with these groups running elec­tion ads in twice as many states as 2000. In 9 out of 11 races where tele­vi­sion ads ran, the candid­ate with the most combined spend­ing on TV ads – includ­ing ads funded by the candid­ate and those run by outside groups – won the elec­tion. Ten interest groups ran ads in the 2002 elec­tion, compared to five groups in 2000. In two states – Idaho and Wash­ing­ton – only outside groups ran ads. In Ohio, a pair of special interest groups each spent more on airtime than 85 of the 88 supreme court candid­ates who ran for office across Amer­ica this year. Special interest groups in Michigan and Missis­sippi outspent all of the candid­ates in their states combined. The major­ity of ads aired by both candid­ates and outside groups invoked hot button issues like crime, health care, tort liab­il­ity, and special interest influ­ence. Special interest groups them­selves, however, cut back on the use of negat­ive attack ads, for which they received fierce back­lash in 2000. 

Our 2006 report­ing contin­ues the ground­break­ing  analysis first conduc­ted in 2000 examin­ing the spon­sor­ship, content, and costs of tele­vised state supreme court campaign ads. The 2000 analysis can be found here: The New Polit­ics of Judi­cial Elec­tions.

State Break­downs

Alabama | Idaho | Illinois | Michigan | Missis­sippi

Nevada | Ohio | Texas | Wash­ing­ton

Real Time Analysis 

Through­out the elec­tion season the Bren­nan Center issued a series of analyses focused on judi­cial elec­tion spend­ing 


All 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.