American Voters Deluged by Ads in Fight to Control Congress, Future Elections

Voters across America are being bombarded with political ads. The November midterm elections have invaded living rooms across the nation. 

Spending on political ads this cycle is set to reach nearly $10 billion by Election Day on Nov. 8. This is a new record for any U.S. election. That’s more than double the amount spent during the 2018 congressional elections, and even surpasses the record $9 billion spent in the 2020 presidential election.

The tracking firm AdImpact published new findings this week, showing just how much is being spent on ads for this election. So too did the Wesleyan Media Project, a nonpartisan group tracking televised political advertising. 

More than 2 million ads, at a cost of nearly $1 billion, have aired on broadcast television alone in federal and gubernatorial races in the U.S. between January 2021 and August 2022. 

Arizona is seeing a massive battle, not only for the Senate but for who will control it and therefore the direction the country will go in for the coming years. 

Arizona will see about $600 million spent on political ads this year, according to AdImpact. Only Pennsylvania, California, and Illinois are expected to exceed that. It is clear the stakes are very high this year. 

Experts said this is not just because control of the 50-50 U.S. Senate is on a knife edge, but also because many supporters of former Republican President Donald Trump, who echo his false claims that the 2020 election was stolen, are running for positions that would put them in charge of administering elections and certifying vote counts in the 2024 presidential race.

So this election may determine the fate of American democracy. 

In Arizona, Republican candidates for governor, secretary of state, and attorney general – all key positions in running the state’s elections – have been telling voters the 2020 result was fraudulent.

Ads are covering an array of issues, from abortion to immigration, to inflation, to healthcare costs,  to social security, and more. Many commercials are attack ads too. 

Republicans hammering Democratic candidates over inflation and President Joe Biden’s job performance, and Democrats lambasting calls by some Republicans for a federal abortion ban following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the right to abortion nationwide.

Democrats have also aired more positive ads about themselves in key Senate races, including Arizona, according to AdImpact. Most are incumbents and, without internal party nominating contests to worry about, they have had the airwaves to themselves for months, building up their own profiles.

Polling suggests these positive ads have had an impact.

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