TV Ad Buys Are Heating Up with Election Day Around the Corner

Oct 16, 2019

As Election Day approaches, some races are eating up time on the TV airwaves.

Two suburban Richmond Senate races are burning up campaign cash as the election season heats up, throwing hundreds of thousands of dollars at media buys. The races also happen to be in two of the most competitive districts this year.

Quentin Kidd at Christopher Newport University says those seats may end up determining the balance of power this year in the state Senate. 

“Senate District 12 and Senate District 10, which are those two suburban districts, are sort of ground zero in the fight between Republicans and Democrats over who is going to control the state Senate," he says. "And I think that’s why you are seeing all this money get attracted to them.”

Credit NPR

The two seats are currently held by Republicans Glen Sturtevant and Siobhan Dunnavant, two incumbent members fighting to keep their seats.

Kyle Kondik at the University of Virginia says it’s notable that the biggest ad buys are in races where Democrats are on the offensive. 

“They won 19 seats in 2015, and none of those 19 seats really seem to be that much of a Republican target," Kondik explains. "So the map is just really the Democrats playing offense trying to pick up two seats or maybe even more than that.”

Republicans currently hold 21 seats in the state Senate, and Democrats hold 19. So if Democrats are going to take over next year, they’re going to need to flip at least two seats to get the majority.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.