Running as an Independent, Gov. Charlie Crist dominated the ad race against his two opponents for the Florida Senate seat, according to a Nielsen analysis of last week's campaign media activity. Crist's total of 1,296 ads across the top five Florida markets last week was almost 50% more than his previous week's output. The total was more than twice the number of ads placed by each of the governor's top two opponents Kendrick Meek (D) and Marco Rubio (R).
Meanwhile in the race for Crist's gubernatorial seat, Republican Rick Scott aired four times as many ads last week as his opponent Alex Sink (D). Both candidates aired their highest number of ads in the Tampa-St. Petersburg market, but the most obvious discrepancy came in the Miami market, where Scott's campaign aired 344 ads as Sink's campaign aired none.
In other high-profile races across the country:
- Meg Whitman led gubernatorial opponent Jerry Brown in overall advertising across the top four California media markets. But news that the former eBay CEO once employed an undocumented worker at her home drew a spike in online buzz and overall TV mentions on September 30.
- Carly Fiorina enjoyed her first full week advertising during the general election for California's Senate seat. While Fiorina's ads aired in Los Angeles, Sacramento, and San Diego, she still had yet to air an ad in the San Francisco market, through October 3. Overall, Democratic incumbent Barbara Boxer held a nearly 4-to-1 advertising advantage across the state last week.
- The Baltimore market is proving to be the biggest battleground in the Maryland governor's race. Incumbent Martin O'Malley (D) and opponent Bob Ehrlich (R) were neck-and-neck in Charm City's ad race, while Ehrlich showed no advertising activity at all in the Washington, DC market. As a result, the candidates' names were more than twice as likely to be mentioned on local Baltimore television stations last week, compared to the DC airwaves.
Download Nielsen's Campaign Media Analysis on these and other contentious mid-term political races.