The TV air war in Kentucky’s hotly contested Senate race is starting to get expensive, at least on the Republican side.
From March 3 to March 8, Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson (R) is set to spend about $140,000 on three different television ads. About $60,000 has been spent to air ads in the Louisville media market during that time, while about $54,000 was spent in the Lexington media market and about $12,000 was spent in the Bowling Green media market.
Grayson’s camp had spent just $25,000 on television air time before this week.
Meanwhile, Grayson’s GOP opponent, eye surgeon Rand Paul, had dropped about $100,000 on television time before this week and has reserved about $93,000 of air time from March 4-11. Paul, the son of Texas GOP Rep. Ron Paul, is also concentrating on the Louisville and Lexington media markets, with about $40,000 of air time in each area. He’s also dropping about $11,000 on the Bowling Green market.
But, with just more than two months to go before the May 18 primary, next week is just the beginning of the flood of Senate ads in Kentucky. Paul’s camp — which according to his campaign’s real-time update is about $60,000 shy of raising $2 million for his Senate bid — has already reserved more than $337,000 in air time during the last six weeks of the primary campaign.
Meanwhile, the leading Democratic Senate candidates seem to be holding their fire when it comes to television spending. Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo released his first ad this week but spent just $4,000 for air time. State Attorney General Jack Conway isn’t spending that much more: He put less than $28,000 behind his first ad, which was released this week.