HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Tired of political ads? Experts predict they won’t stop anytime soon.
The ads are likely to run until Election Day, according to Erika Franklin-Fowler, a professor with the Wesleyan Media Project.
“What you’re seeing is just a sheer, like a real, quantifiable indicator that these races are hotly contested,” she said.
Outside groups are responsible for 40% of broadcast spots in the last two weeks, according to Franklin-Fowler. It allows candidates to still air negative ads about their competitors, but be shielded from the backlash by those groups.
From Sept. 19 to Oct. 2, the Wesleyan Media Project found that incumbent Sen. Richard Blumenthal spent $490,000 on broadcast tv and radio ads, while his Republican challenger, Leora Levy, spent none.
“That is not ideal from a campaign perspective, because you want to be speaking to voters about what the issues are and to provide your perspective,” Franklin-Fowler said.
The project found that most ads for the governor’s race have been in support of incumbent Democrat Gov. Ned Lamont. The 5th Congressional District, however, has been pro-Republican.
“Republicans and Democrats are not going to leave anything to chance,” Franklin-Fowler said. “And so in Connecticut, you know, appears tight. And so I expect that those ads will just continue through Election Day.”
The House and governor’s races are mostly made up of attack ads.
But tracking the funding is tricky. Under federal law, that information has to be revealed 60 days before an election. That’s where “dark money” can come in.
“It’s definitely the case that we see dark money going up, and then dropping off after the reporting windows open,” Franklin-Fowler said.
And, in a first, a minor party candidate spent money to fly a message on Thursday over New Haven attacking the 3rd District incumbent, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT 03).
The DeLauro campaign told News 8 that the congresswoman is focused on solutions to help America’s families, not “cheap political stunts.”