US Insights

Illinois Governor's race triggers early ad blitz

Rachel Gursky

Content Marketing Director

Politics 02.21.2018 / 09:00


55% of ads so far have been negative.

The 2018 midterm elections may still be months away, but the primaries are coming up in just a few weeks. Many competitive races are taking place in states with expensive media markets and the battle on the airwaves is beginning to heat up.

Focusing specifically on Governor’s races Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group (CMAG) found that from January 1, 2017-February 8, 2018, 73% of all 2018 gubernatorial race advertising has been for the Illinois competition. Indeed, there have been more than 10 times as many spots aired for the IL governor’s race than any other 2018 governor’s election, and the candidates and their supporters aren't playing nice. More than half of all ads aired (55%) have been negative or contrasting in tone.

Where the Money's Coming From

Years of contention with Illinois Democrats has left current Governor Bruce Rauner in a vulnerable position with a low approval rating. In an effort to win over disapproving voters, Rauner has been running an abundance of commercials, making him responsible for nearly a quarter of all ad spending.

But Rauner’s investment pales in comparison to that of candidate J.B. Pritzker, who has paid for more than half of the advertising in the race thus far.

The remaining 14 percent of expenditures has been covered by supporting issue groups.

Where the Money's Going

One third of all spots that have aired in the race appeared in the pricey Chicago media market and morning shows have been saturated. If you’re trying to avoid the advertising blitz it would be wise to should stay away from Good Morning America, the Today Show and CBS This Morning – the top three programs where commercials have been running according to CMAG data.

With the road to the 2018 election just getting started, CMAG will be watching the races closely. For more information on our political advertising monitoring, contact us today.

Source: Kantar Media

Editor's Notes

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