Leading up to the November 2008 election, the Brennan Center released real-time reports on television advertising in state supreme court elections. The 2008 reports continued the groundbreaking analysis first conducted in 2000 examining the sponsorship, content, and costs of televised state supreme court campaign ads. Analyses of advertising over four cycles has culminated in four reports, The New Politics of Judicial Elections, The New Politics of Judicial Elections 2002, The New Politics of Judicial Elections 2004, and The New Politics of Judicial Elections 2006. These studies document the growing threats to fair and impartial courts from big money, special interest pressure, and television air wars.
This year's advertisements are available for viewing on the web and as storyboards. The storyboards contain screen captures of the ads at timed intervals, along with complete text. TV ads and storyboards are provided by the Campaign Media Analysis Group (CMAG). Findings from 2008 were featured in The New Politics of Judicial Elections 2000-2009: Decade of Change.
Real Time Analysis
Throughout the election season the Brennan Center issued a series of analyses focused on judicial election spending
- November 13, 2008: "Buying Time — Spending Rockets Before Elections"
- October 30, 2008: "Buying Time — Michigan and Alabama Join Costly Wisconsin"
- October 23, 2008: "Buying Time: AL and MI Lead Nation's Supreme Court Advertising"
- October 16, 2008: "Buying Time 2008 — Supreme Court Television Advertising Drops with Only Three Weeks Left Before Election"
- October 9, 2008: "Buying Time — LA Smashes Records, AL Ad Wars Go Negative"
- October 3, 2008: "Buying Time — LA, AL & OH Lead Spending Surge"
- September 24, 2008: "Buying Time -- Special Interests and Supreme Court Elections"
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.