Friday October 26, 2012 | 09:11 AM

WASHINGTON – On Wednesday, researchers and students with the Wesleyan Media Project released some interesting statistics on the crush of political ads filling the airwaves in Maine and across the country.

We included some of the Maine-specific results of that research in Thursday’s article about how non-Maine groups are actually out-spending the candidates in Maine’s Senate race – a fact that underscores the national implications of the race. Click here if you missed it.

Below are a few more Maine factoids (courtesy of Bowdoin College associate professor Michael Franz, co-director of the Wesleyan Media Project) and other stats that didn’t make it into Thursday’s story:

The 5,909 Senate ads that aired on Maine broadcast networks from Oct. 1-21 ranked 13th on the list of Senate ad wars. But if you thought that was overkill, consider what TV watchers in Montana were seeing. More than 25,000 Senate ads aired in Montana during that period.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee aired more ads than any other group or candidate during the first three weeks of October, all of them opposing Republican Charlie Summers (and, significantly, none of them endorsing Democrat Cynthia Dill).

Following is the breakdown of ads from Oct. 1-21:

  • DSCC – 1,463 ads
  • Summers campaign – 1,064 ads
  • Angus King campaign – 1,035 ads
  • National Republican Senatorial Committee (pro-Summers/anti-King) – 975 ads
  • Americans Elect (pro-King) – 484 ads
  • Crossroads GPS (anti-King) – 396 ads
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce (anti-King/pro-Summers) – 381 ads
  • League of Conservation Voters and Sierra Club (anti-Summers/pro-King) – 111 ads

What Mainers aren’t really seeing – at least not when compared to many other states – is presidential ads.

For example, the major broadcast networks in the Denver area alone aired 9,950 presidential ads during the first three weeks of October, even though Colorado residents can hardly walk outside these days without hearing a stump speech by President Obama or Mitt Romney.

And it’s not just the major cities getting bombarded. TV watchers in Roanoke – Virginia’s ninth-largest city with a population just shy of 100,000 – were subjected to 5,403 presidential ads in three weeks. And that’s on top of that media market’s share of the 12,863 Senate ads aired in Virginia during that time.


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Kevin Miller is Washington bureau chief for the Portland Press Herald and MaineToday Media. He has worked as a journalist in Maine for 6 ½ years, covering the environment, politics and the State House. Before arriving in Maine, he wrote about politics, government and education for newspapers in Virginia and Maryland.
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