April 25, 2016
TV viewers in Philadelphia have been bombarded with nearly 4,500 airings of political ads–and counting–in the lead up to a hotly contested Democratic Senate primary on Tuesday, according to Political TV Ad Archive data. More than a third of the ad airings have occurred over the past week, at an average of 226 per day or nine per hour.
In Pennsylvania, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have strong leads in the polls, but in the Senate contest, former Clinton White House aide Katie McGinty is in a tight race with Joe Sestak, a former Congressman and retired Navy admiral. A third entrant in the race, John Fetterman, is behind in the polls but is also airing ads, although far fewer. All the candidates hope to challenge the Republican incumbent, Pat Toomey, in the November elections.
This ad sponsored by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) supporting McGinty has run 553 times in the Philadelphia area. The ad focuses on McGinty’s working class background and promotes her as a champion of social security and Medicare. The DSCC has reported spending nearly $1.5 million to support McGinty’s campaign, more than any other Senate candidate, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Women Vote!, a super PAC associated with Emily’s List, has weighed in with two ads, including this one attacking Sestak for his record on social security. The ad has aired 364 times in the Philadelphia area at the time of this posting, according to Political TV Ad Archive data. Women Vote! is spending in several Senate races, most heavily in support of Rep. Donna Edwards, a Democrat running in Maryland’s primary against Rep. Chris Van Hollen, another tight primary race scheduled April 26.
Meanwhile, a super PAC supporting Joe Sestak, Accountable Leadership, also has been running ads in the Philadelphia area. This one, which has aired 146 times in the Philadelphia area, touts Sestak’s opposition to fracking and support of Obamacare.
To see all ads airing in the Philadelphia area leading up to Tuesday’s primary, click here. To see ads running in the Washington, DC area, which includes portions of Maryland, where voters are also going to the polls Tuesday, click here.