Dems Outspending GOP On Local Political Ads

A new report from Matrix Solutions shows Democratic candidates in Senate “toss up” races have purchased $9.9 million more in local TV spots than that of their opponents.

The 2018 midterm elections will determine which major party secures a Senate majority, and a new report examining candidate ad spend shows Democrats have outspent Republicans in local broadcast by more than $9.9 million.

Total Democratic local TV spend for the general election is 4% greater than GOP opponents’ campaigning in the 10 states with toss up Senate races, whose Nov. 6 results dictate control of the upper congressional entity.

On average, this trend persists among individual senatorial candidates in states with the most competitive Senate elections including Beto O’Rourke (D) in Texas and Heidi Heitkamp (D) in North Dakota. Political ad spend at the local broadcast level is a key campaign tool in reaching constituents with voting power, especially in states with races deemed toss ups.

The findings come from Matrix Solutions’ “2018 Midterms Political Ad Spend Map,” a comprehensive report on local TV ad spend by candidates in the 10 states with the most competitive and decisive Senate campaigns, derived from the activity of 166 political advertising accounts facilitated by Matrix’s global ad sales platform Monarch. The data analyzed ad deals made on behalf of Democratic and Republican senatorial candidates for the duration of the 2018 general election.

“Our data shows the value each candidate places in local broadcast as an ad channel in their campaign to win their state’s open Senate seat,” said Mark Gorman, Matrix Solutions CEO. “Local TV is a key medium for politicians hoping to sway undecided voters who possess the ability to support their campaign and to overall encourage voter turnout on election day. Both Democratic and Republican senatorial candidates are counting on this election to secure their party’s influence in the Senate and a strong local broadcast footprint will bolster these efforts.”

Local Broadcast Senatorial Candidate Ad Spend by State 


ARIZONA Kyrsten Sinema

$12,965,853 (51%)

Martha McSally

$12,292,265 (49%)



FLORIDA Bill Nelson

$18,255,405 (46%)

Rick Scott            

$21,737,039 (54%)



INDIANA Joe Donnelly

$18,743,887 (60%)

Mike Braun

$12,603,844 (40%)



MISSOURI Claire McCaskill

$20,284,979 (52%)

Josh Hawley

$18,635,933 (48%)



MONTANA Jon Tester

$8,825,145 (50%)

Matthew Rosendale

$8,681,950 (50%)



NEVADA Jacky Rosen

$18,509,810 (53%)

Dean Heller

$16,181,453 (47%)



NORTH DAKOTA Heidi Heitkamp

$6,589,261 (51%)

Kevin Cramer

$6,304,903 (49%)



TENNESSEE Phil Bredesen

$12,897,704 (48%)

Marsha Blackburn

$13,826,702 (52%)



TEXAS Beto O’Rourke

$5,301,520 (56%)

Ted Cruz

$4,107,297 (44%)




$10,653,092 (55%)

Patrick Morrisey

$8,706,067 (45%)




Total Local Broadcast Senatorial Candidate Ad Spend By Party


Democratic Spend $133,026,657 (52%)
Republican Spend $123,077,453 (48%)
TOTAL $256,104,110


Notably, Texas candidate Beto O’Rourke (D) is outspending opponent Ted Cruz (R) by $1.2 million (12%) in local broadcast, and likewise, Indiana candidate Joe Donnelly (D) is outspending opponent Mike Braun (R) by $6.1 million (20%). Exceptions to the encompassing trend, in which Republican candidates have purchased more local TV advertising in their respective senatorial campaigns, include Florida’s Rick Scott (R) and Tennessee’s Marsha Blackburn (R).

A full graphical representation of the 2018 Midterms Political Ad Spend Map findings can be found here.


Matrix Solutions looked at more than $256 million worth of relevant political ad sales to determine individual and total local broadcast spend of Democratic and Republican senatorial candidates in the toss up states of Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia — normalizing spend figures from the activity of 166 active accounts.

Political ad spend in local TV was retrieved for the duration of each state’s 2018 general election campaign, starting from the most comprehensive full month in which the race began and tracking scheduled advertising through November 2018.

Each candidate’s spend is inclusive of purchases made by Thursday, Oct. 25, in their favor by PACs, political committees and organizations, and themselves, among others.

Comments (3)

Leave a Reply

2018bstyrevr says:

October 31, 2018 at 1:51 pm

You mean the democratic party and the main stream media…one and the same…. are spending the $$. My question is with these two working together how much is the non-stop illegitimate totally fabricated negative coverage of President Trump and the Republicans worth???

    [email protected] says:

    October 31, 2018 at 8:58 pm

    (1) The negative coverage of Trump/GOP by the media is BECAUSE Trump/GOP are the ones dividing the country. (2) The Dems are trying to keep this country united because they know a house (or nation) divided against itself cannot stand. (3) Finally, if Trump would lay off on his childish tweets, and be Presidential for a change, we’d be better off.

      2018bstyrevr says:

      November 1, 2018 at 6:36 am


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