Congratulations to the true 2022 midterm winners: Georgia media owners and operators. TV station owners and operators, especially.
The Peach State was already home to the single most ad-soaked, spendy race of the midterms—in which candidate U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock (D), spent $74 million on political advertising (excluding PAC and party spending), according to the latest Ad Age Campaign Ad Scorecard analysis. And given that both he and his Republican opponent, Herschel Walker, failed to get 50% of the vote, forcing them into a runoff, Georgia will surely see tens of millions of dollars of additional ad spending in the weeks leading up to the bonus Dec. 6 election.
That’s on top of the $228 million—$123 million by Democrats and $101 million by Republicans—already spent on media by candidates, PACs and parties (including primary spending) on Georgia’s U.S. Senate race. (It remains to be seen if the fact that the Democrats have already clinched control of the Senate will dampen the GOP’s enthusiasm for Walker.)
While we had hoped this would be the final Campaign Ad Scorecard of the 2022 midterms, we will once again be issuing overtime editions. (You’ll recall that Georgia was the scene of two U.S. Senate runoff elections on Jan. 5 of last year, with Democrat Jon Ossoff ultimately beating incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. David Perdue, and Warnock ultimately beating incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler. Confusingly, Loeffler was appointed by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp as the interim replacement for Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson, who resigned for health reasons in December 2019, so Warnock won what was technically a special election to serve out what would have been the rest of Isakson’s term. Warnock is running against Walker in a regular election for a full six-year term.)
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