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Smart Media Group
Our name is our pledge. Smart Media Group is an intelligent media planning, buying and communications agency with deep expertise across all media platforms. Creative, driven and independent, our proprietary tools help to keep us informed so we can act with certainty to achieve your business goals. Our approach is simple: Listen.Ask.Solve.
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Senior Media Buyer
Senior Media Buyer
Director of Client Services
VP of Analytics
Chief Operating Officer
The 2014 election cycle has made history for being the most expensive midterm election to date. As of October 31st, the top 10 senate races saw over $428 million dollars spent on television and radio advertising during the general election. Recent legal rulings such as Citizens United has brought great attention to campaign funding. Yet, among all the headlines and media buzz the 2014 Midterms show that neither side of the political aisle have a clear spending advantage. Of the $428 million, 53.7% was spent by Republican candidates and interest groups compared to the $197.6 million placed by Democrat candidates and groups.
Among the top 10 2014 races North Carolina’s battle between Senator Hagan and Speaker Tillis saw the most media dollars at $80.5 million $40.6 million supporting Hagan’s bid for re-election and $39.9 million supporting Tillis. Independent Greg Orman’s challenge to Senator Roberts’ seat in Kansas rounds out the bottom of the list at $17.4 million ($9.1 million for Team Roberts and $8.3 million for Team Orman). Both parties have been active in North Carolina since the early summer of 2014 while Kansas started to see heavy spending at only the beginning of October.
As we have seen, interest groups, whether out-of-state or in-state, have played a significant role in many races. $310 million of the total $428 million, over 72%, was purchased by non-candidate groups. Colorado’s race between Senator Udall and Representative Gardner saw the largest difference in the two parties interest group spending, $9 million. Republicans groups placed $29.7 million compared to the $20.4 million from their Democratic counterparts. Kentucky saw the second largest difference with Republican groups outspending Democrat groups by $8.6 million.
Two races in particular stand out for their large difference in individual campaign spending. In North Carolina, Senator Hagan spent $11.4 million compared to Tillis’ $6 million. Georgia’s open seat matchup between Michelle Nunn and David Perdue saw a large difference between candidates spending. Democrat Nunn outspent Republican Perdue by nearly two-to-one, $9.1 million to $4.7 million.
At a total of $28.7 million Alaska’s Sullivan vs. Begich race came in 7th on the top 10 list. What makes this race of interest is the fact that interest groups placed 91% of the total media purchased for both candidates. The Sullivan camp spent $1.6 million compared to the $14 million spent by Republican groups. Similarly, Begich spent $1 million of his campaign funds compared to the $12 million from outside groups.
While the 2014 Midterms will make history, until the next midterm presumably, we can see that neither party has a distinct advantage over the other in terms of dollars spent.
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