By CRAIG MAUGER
Michigan Campaign Finance Network
Presidential candidates and their supporters dumped money into Michigan in the last days before the primary election, buying $6 million in ads in the state over the seven-day period from Feb. 29 through March 6, which was Sunday.
That $6-million figure, which is based on Kantar Media ad tracking data, is nearly as much as the $6.4 million that was spent on ads for the entire 2012 presidential primary. This time around, as of March 6, with two days remaining, there had been more than $8 million spent.
The top spender in Michigan continues to be the campaign of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is trying to upset Democrat Hillary Clinton, former secretary of state.
As of Sunday, Sanders’ campaign had aired $3.5 million worth of broadcast TV ads in Michigan. Of that total, the campaign ran $2.3 million in ads from Feb. 29 through March 6.
As of March 6, Sanders’ campaign had aired more than 7,000 broadcast TV spots in the state, according to Kantar Media’s tracking. Clinton’s campaign had aired about 5,387 spots.
Clinton’s campaign has been the second biggest spender in Michigan.
As of March 6, her campaign had aired $2.6 million worth of broadcast TV ads in the state. From Feb. 29 through March 6, the campaign invested $1.7 million in Michigan ads.
On the Republican side of things, there was a major uptick in spending in the last days.
The campaign of GOP frontrunner Donald Trump began buying TV ads in Michigan between Feb. 29 and March 6. Trump's campaign aired 378 ads over that seven-day period, costing $184,636.
Conservative Solutions, the Super PAC supporting Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, has been the largest spender in the GOP race in Michigan. The Super PAC, which can take unlimited contributions while acting independently of the candidate’s campaign, had bought $1.2 million worth of ads as of March 6. The wide majority of that spending, $1.1 million, came in the period running from Feb. 29 through March 6.
Supporters of Republican John Kasich, the governor of Ohio, also flowed more money to Michigan in the last days. Kasich’s campaign aired $216,931 in ads from Feb. 29 to March 6. New Day For America, the Super PAC supporting Kasich, aired $539,979 in ads over that same period.
As of March 6, pro-Kasich forces had aired $770,353 in broadcast ads in Michigan, according to Kantar’s tracking.
The other GOP candidate, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, has invested the least in Michigan TV ads, airing just $1,112 in ads in the state.
Here’s a run down of spending in support of each candidate in Michigan as of March 6:
Bernie Sanders, $3.5 million
Hillary Clinton, $2.6 million
Marco Rubio (Conservative Solutions Super PAC), $1.2 million
John Kasich (Kasich campaign, New Day For America Super PAC), $770,353
Donald Trump, $184,636
Ted Cruz, $1,112
* The top image is a screen grab of a pro-Bernie Sanders ad that has been the most frequently aired over the last week.