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Report: Michigan primary campaigns shelled out big bucks for TV ads

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If the months leading up to Tuesday's primary election felt like a barrage of political ads, the following likely won't come as a surprise.

The Michigan Campaign Finance Network says around $23.6 million in political ads aired on broadcast television ahead of the state's primary. 


Most of the ads were geared toward the primary races for governor. Democrat Shri Thanedar's self-funded campaign spent the most on TV ads -- an estimated $5.2 million. That's more than double what any other candidate spent.

"TV advertising in a state-wide race, in a congressional race, in districts that cover great geographic distances, is still a very effective way to reach a lot of people," says Craig Mauger, the Network's executive director. However, Mauger says $23 million for TV ads is a significant increase from other similar elections in Michigan. 

Now that we're officially over the primary and heading toward November's general election, Mauger says it's important to know that there will likely be a change in the type of political advertising people will see on television.

"In the general election, you'll see a lot more advertising from national groups," he says. "Those groups will come in and spend a lot of money ... and that will drive up the overall cost and will likely make for one of the most expensive races for governor ever, if not the most expensive ever."

Mauger says the most costly governor's race in Michigan history was in 2006 between Democrat Jennifer Granholm and Republican Dick DeVos, which cost around $80 million. 

You can read the Michigan Campaign Finance Network's full report here

Rebecca Kruth is the host of All Things Considered at Michigan Public. She also co-hosts Michigan Public's weekly language podcast That’s What They Say with English professor Anne Curzan.
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