Scott Brown made history on Tuesday, becoming the first Republican to win a Massachusetts Senate seat in over thirty years. Brown won 52% of the vote, beating his opponent Martha Coakley by a margin of five percent. He gained the winning majority of the vote in 65% of the Commonwealth’s 351 precincts.
Martha Coakley spent $628,000 on broadcast and cable during the Democratic primary from 11/13-12/8. At that time, Coakley was ahead of Brown in the polls by 15%-30%. Brown first placed advertising the week of 12/30, spending $380,000 on broadcast and cable, airing positive ads such as “JFK”, “Hey, Dad”, and “Response”. For the last two weeks leading up until the election, Brown spent a total of $2.7 million, gaining an even position with Coakley in the polls. Coakley responded with negative ads on 1/7, and placed $2.1 million for the last two weeks of the election. While these negative response ads were airing, Brown skyrocketed ahead in the polls as far as a nine point lead two days before the election.
Both candidates spent the bulk of their dollars in the Boston market, each placing around $2.4 million.
This chart shows each candidate’s spending by week: Massachusetts Broadcast and Cable Spending
Several issue groups also placed advertising in Boston regarding this special election, including American Future Fund, Americans For Responsible Healthcare, Chamber of Commerce, Citizens for Strength & Security, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Employment Policies Institute, League of American Voters, League of Conservation Voters, National Republican Trust PAC, SEIU, Tea Party Express.
Unofficial election results from www.boston.com
Polling data from www.politico.com