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Buying Time 2006

Our 2006 reporting continues the groundbreaking analysis conducted since 2000 examining the sponsorship, content, and costs of televised state supreme court campaign ads.

Published: October 9, 2006

The 2006 judi­cial elec­tion cycle saw an explo­sion of money and special interest influ­ence. Tele­vi­sion ads appeared in 10 of the 11 states that had supreme court races, with seven states running ads during the primary elec­tion. More than $16 million was spent on tele­vi­sion ads through­out the entire elec­tion cycle. Many ads were negat­ive in tone, with the candid­ates them­selves spon­sor­ing  60 percent of all negat­ive advert­ise­ments; this is up from 10 percent of attack ads that candid­ates sponsored in 2002. Special interest groups spent at least $8.5 million on inde­pend­ent expendit­ures to support or oppose their candid­ates, with $2.7 million spent in Wash­ing­ton state alone. 85 percent of all special interest tele­vi­sion advert­ise­ments were sponsored by groups on the polit­ical right. In the 2006 cycle, the candid­ate with the most on-air support won their race 67 percent of the time; this is down from 85 percent in 2004.   

Our 2006 report­ing contin­ues the ground­break­ing  analysis first conduc­ted in 2000 examin­ing the spon­sor­ship, content, and costs of tele­vised state supreme court campaign ads. Analyses of advert­ising over these elec­tion cycles has culmin­ated in three reports: The New Polit­ics of Judi­cial Elec­tionsThe New Polit­ics of Judi­cial Elec­tions 2002, and The New Polit­ics of Judi­cial Elec­tions 2004

State Break­downs

Alabama | Arkan­sas | Geor­gia | Kentucky | Michigan

Nevada | North Caro­lina | Ohio | Oregon | 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.