On the Air in Chicago

Gov. Blagojevich has spent $5.2 million on TV ads in the Chicago market during the first half of 2006, including $1.8 million before the primary and $3.4 million afterwards. His campaign reported having $18.3 million available for the Primary, including cash on hand and funds raised before March 20. Looking only at the pre-Primary numbers, Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron Gidwitz spent the most on Chicago market ads, at $2.4 million. Disclosure reports for all candidates for the first half of 2006 are due to be filed with the State Board of Elections by Monday, July 31.

All told, candidates have spent some $15.2 million for TV ads broadcast in the Chicago, including $14 million by candidates for state office and $1.1 million by candidates for federal office.

Governor Blagojevich’s re-election campaign is the only campaign that has been running ads since the March Primary. The first wave of these ads, from the day after the Primary through April 10, included 453 30-second spots in the Chicago market, at a cost of $732,000. The second wave, which switched to bookended 15-second spots but otherwise retained the same apparent placement strategy, ran from April 20 to May 10 at a cost of $1.2 million for 1,365 total spots. The third wave ran from June 2 through July 3, including 1,764 15-second spots at a cost of $1.5 million.

The governor’s campaign has not aired spots since the Independence Day holiday, but they have told Chicago TV stations that the ad flights will resume in August. ICPR has updated its analysis of these ad broadcasts here. ICPR has also teamed with reform groups in other states around the Midwest to monitor news broadcasts in the weeks leading up to the November general; read the press release here.