Sep 24, 2022 - Politics & Policy

DeSantis swamps Crist on TV

States with the most political television ads
Data: Wesleyan Media Project; Chart: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is swamping his state's airwaves, far eclipsing rival Charlie Crist (D) in the sheer number of TV ads aired, data shows.

Why it matters: Advertising volume isn't everything. But such a significant mismatch can spell trouble in the final leg of a campaign.

  • DeSantis' 15-to-1 advantage over Crist is by far the biggest discrepancy among statewide 2022 races with significant TV ad volume.
  • That's according to data from the Wesleyan Media Project, which measured TV aid "airings" — or the number of times ads were broadcast — from Sept. 5-18.

By the numbers: Texas saw the most ads aired for statewide political contests in that period. Gov. Greg Abbott's (R) ads aired more than 8.500 times. Challenger Beto O'Rourke's (D) campaign got a significant assist from a new outside spender, Coulda Been Worse.

  • On the Senate side, Wisconsin led the way in total ad airings over that two-week period. Challenger Mandela Barnes (D) and supportive outside groups narrowly bested Sen. Ron Johnson (R) and GOP independent spenders.
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