Reports: Cuomo Campaign Dominates TV Airwaves
New York voters have been targeted with 20,000 broadcast TV ads during the 2014 election cycle, including a flurry for Gov. Andrew Cuomo during the primary challenge from Zephyr Teachout, according to a report and a review of state records.
The nonpartisan Center for Public Integrity and the ad tracking service Kantar Media/CMAG took a count of political ads from January 2013 through Sept. 8 and reported Wednesday an estimated $14.5 million had been spent on legislative and statewide races, mostly in the governor contest. Those numbers don't include TV ads that ran on local cable channels or other campaign spending and the overall expense is based on Kantar's projections of what ads cost in particular markets and time slots.
State finance records show Cuomo's campaign spent $1.4 million on TV advertising in the 30 days before the primary. More than half of the $5.3 million spent between July 1 and the primary - $2.9 million - went to TV ads. The records show nearly $8 million for TV ads out of the $12.6 million spent by the campaign since January 2013.
Teachout didn't make any TV ad buys, and the $438,000 her campaign reported spending included just $2,000 for radio. Cuomo spent $248,000 on radio spots.
The Center for Public Integrity said about 9,300 of the ads run in New York supported Cuomo and 6,600 paid for by the state Democratic Committee were negative ads directed at his Republican opponent, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino. State records show the committee, controlled by Cuomo, has spent almost $10.3 million this election cycle. Of that, $6.4 million went to television, including $2.4 million in August and September.
The report filed by Astorino's campaign in July, the most recent required since he didn't have a primary, showed he had spent a total of about $930,000, including about $280,000 on television, and had about $2.4 million available.
Cuomo's post-primary finance report shows he still has nearly $26 million on hand for the balance of the campaign against Astorino.
In 2009-2010, Cuomo spent $23 million to win, including $17 million on television.
In another statewide race, the center's report said Republican John Cahill had run just more than 2,100 TV ads valued at about $640,000 attacking his opponent, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Cahill's July report showed no money for television in the $94,000 he had spent to that point.
On Tuesday, Schneiderman launched what he said will be a multi-million dollar ad buy in New York's five major media markets.