LANSING – Michigan gubernatorial television advertising has totaled $2,146,981 through May 31, 2010, all on the Republican side of the contest. Rick Snyder leads the spending race, so far, at $1,336,893. Mike Cox currently ranks second at $527,737. Mike Bouchard is third at $49,091, and Pete Hoekstra ranks fourth at $5,470.
Data were collected by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Michigan Campaign Finance Network from the public files of Michigan broadcasters and cable systems. Figures are gross sales.
The shadowy nonprofit business association, Americans for Job Security, has spent $227,790 attacking Hoekstra, all in the Grand Rapids – Kalamazoo market. Its spending total was reduced by $40,000 to that total last week when four stations in the market pulled AJS spots in response to a complaint by the Hoekstra campaign of abuse of the truth. It is likely that Americans for Job Security will never disclose the identity of the contributors who are paying for its candidate-focused issue advertising.
The Snyder campaign’s spending has come in two phases: It spent $958,386 in February and March for a series of introductory spots that ran statewide. It came back to life in May, most heavily in the Grand Rapids – Kalamazoo market. Its advertising in the Detroit market has been limited to cable since the introductory period. Its $385,000 broadcast blitz in February and March is the only broadcast advertising in the state’s primary television market so far this year. Overall, Snyder has spent $136,726 (10.2 percent of his total) for cable.
The Cox campaign, which has focused on attacks directed against Hoekstra, has spent most heavily in west Michigan. Only $18,982 of the Cox TV spending (3.6 percent) has been on cable.
The Bouchard campaign has placed its television advertising exclusively on cable thus far. Sixty percent of its spending total played in the Detroit market.
Ninety percent of Hoekstra’s very modest spending total has played in his west Michigan home market. Hoekstra’s campaign has placed $3,500 (64 percent) of its total on cable.
As a comparison, Dick DeVos had spent $3.2 million on gubernatorial television advertising by Memorial Day in 2006. The Michigan Democratic Party joined the fray in mid-June of that year, and the Granholm campaign first bought television in August. The gubernatorial candidates did not have primary opponents in 2006. Gubernatorial television advertising in 2006 totaled $56.2 million, including $27.7 million by the DeVos campaign, $12.8 million in undisclosed candidate-focused issue advertising by the Michigan Democratic Party and $9.0 million by the Granholm campaign.
This news release was revised to accurately report the fact that a fourth station in the Grand Rapids - Kalamazoo media market pulled spots by the nonprofit Americans for Job Security at the request of the Hoekstra campaign. At the time the release was first published, only three stations were known by MCFN to have pulled spots.