The TV ad campaign that is also known as Florida’s race for governor has cleared the century mark: at least $104 million.
Gov. Rick Scott and his allies have owned most of those airwaves, spending about $68 million since March and at least $1 million in November 2013 to welcome Democrat Charlie Crist to the race with a barrage of negative ads. In between, Scott could have dropped another $1 million.
More than two-thirds of Scott’s ads have been negative, and he has run only negative spots for days at a time in some media markets.
Crist and his allies, namely NextGen Climate, have combined to run $36 million in commercials since he began his ad campaign in July. Like Scott’s, a majority of these ads are negative, too.
The Crist campaign says that, in the last eight days of the campaign through Election Day, it will air about $6.5 million on TV. Scott is more than doubling that: $13.5 million.
In the last two weeks, Scott is on pace to air as much as $19.5 million on English-language ads to Crist's $7.8 million.
Fueling Scott’s campaign: Scott. He has pumped $12.8 million of his own money into the race. In 2012, he said he wouldn’t have to do that. But, he now says, he didn’t account for billionaire Tom Steyer’s NextGen Climate giving Crist $12 million in indirect aid.
Friday marked the last of the major ad buys, with both sides dropping a combined $8 million, with Crist dropping a few thousand more dollars. The Orlando and Miami media markets saw the biggest increases, $2.5 million and $2 million respectively. Tampa’s increase: almost $1.2 million. Spending in West Palm Beach ticked up by $940,000.
Tampa is the all-time leader in ad spending since March: 29 percent. Orlando was second, 26%. Followed by West Palm Beach (12 percent) and Miami (10 percent).