Last updated: July 16, 2010 - 8:41am
Congressional candidates, political parties and special-interest groups have spent more than $139 million on TV ads to influence November's federal elections, more than twice the spending at this point in 2006, new data show.
Political advertising for state races, where 37 governors' contests are underway, also is on the rise. State-level candidates, parties and outside interests have pumped $225 million into TV commercials, up from $193 million four years earlier, according to Evan Tracey of the Campaign Media Analysis Group, which tracks political ads. A party breakdown was not available.
The spending is on pace to break records, Tracey said, as advocacy groups race to influence the midterm elections. "Incumbent insecurity" also is pushing lawmakers on the airwaves early "because they know they can't wait to let themselves be defined" by opponents, he said. "There is going to be more money than there is airtime to buy," Tracey said. Outside groups plan to pour millions more into contests that will determine which party sets the agenda on issues such as immigration policy and climate-change legislation. Democrats control Congress, but the president's party traditionally loses seats in midterm elections.
The swelling tide is led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
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