Ed Kilgore sends some sympathy to the poor TV watchers of Florida at the news that Rick Scott intends to spend $100M to get himself re-elected governor.
It's almost certainly overkill, no? I'd imagine that diminishing returns starts setting in far below that mark, and most of the rest of the money is going to be wasted. Remember, we're talking about an incumbent governor in a general election: just how many voters will really be influenced by ads in that kind of election?
I actually don't know the answer to one key question about this: how would $100M for Florida rank in terms of money/voter? My sense is that it's not all that high...Linda McMahon just spent $50M in Connecticut, after all. Has anyone compiled a list of the highest spending per voter in statewide races?
The interesting thing to study here (and I'm not up to date on the literature, so if someone has done so I'm missing it) is whether the demise of newspapers has meant that fewer people really know anything about their state governments -- I mean, it's not as if voters ever knew very much, but perhaps they know less now. Or not! People apparently do still watch local TV news, which sometimes, I hear, does have a bit of actual news content. Presumably, the more information voters are exposed to from the news media, the less important advertising will be.
At any rate, here in Texas we have a decent chance of having a very nasty Republican primary for governor, and in those cases money almost certainly does play a big role. Should be fun.