New report: Illinois residents endured 34,600 political ads

SHARE New report: Illinois residents endured 34,600 political ads

Of the estimated $26.4 million spent on TV ads so far in the Illinois governor’s race, Republican Bruce Rauner’s campaign spent more than half of it, with ads running more than 18,000 times in the state, a new report by the Center for Public Integrity indicates.

While Rauner’s campaign topped spending for all political candidates in the state, Gov. Pat Quinn’s camp came in second, having spent $5.7 million. The Illinois Freedom PAC, a coalition of unions who oppose Rauner, spent another nearly $5 million running ads attacking Rauner and promoting Quinn. Unlike Rauner, who faced steep competition in a four-way Republican primary, the bulk of Quinn’s spending didn’t begin until the summer. Quinn did not face formidable competition in the primary.

All told, political TV ads ran 34,600 times in the state through Sept. 8 of this year. Illinois ranked fourth on the group’s list for the most money spent. Pennsylvania led with $37 million already spent, followed by Texas at $36.8 million, Florida at $33.7 million, Illinois at $26.4 million and New York $14.5 million.

Through Sept. 8, one day before the final five state primary elections, more than $280 million nationwide was spent on television ads promoting and attacking candidates running for state political office in 2014. — Center for Public Integrity

The group looked at candidate spending and that spent by outside groups. The top outside spender — the Republican Governors Association at $11.4 million. The RGA has invested heavily in Rauner’s candidacy. On Tuesday, New Jersey Governor and RGA Chair Chris Christie said he sees Illinois as the most important battle in the country.The Democratic Governors Association was among the top spenders nationally at $5.1 million as well as Illinois Freedom PAC at $4.9 million.

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