Just in Time, NYT Discovers Democratic Groups Also Spend Money on Campaign Ads

After several exhausting front-page stories bemoaning allegedly massive spending by nonprofit groups headed by Karl Rove, and anonymous donors trying to help Republicans buy an election, Michael Luo on Election Day noticed that, oh by the way, Democrats Outspend G.O.P. in TV Ads in House Races.
After several exhausting special reports and front-page stories bemoaning allegedly massive spending by nonprofit groups headed by Karl Rove, and "anonymous donors" trying to help Republicans "buy an election," the Times Michael Luo on Election Day noticed that, oh by the way, "Democrats Outspend G.O.P. in TV Ads in House Races." (The medium-sized story made page 17.)

To be fair, Luo had a similar story on the front page October 27. But these two stories were preceded by weeks of nearly exclusive hammering by the Times on donations by groups like the Obama-reviled Chamber of Commerce, which in this election cycle has been more sympathetic to the GOP. The paper's managing editor, Jill Abramson, even linked the surge of donations to Watergate.

Luo wrote on Tuesday that the Democratic advantage "was something of a revelation, given all the attention that has been garnered this year by the staggering expenditures by Republican-oriented independent groups."

That's only a revelation to the Times, a media organ responsible for much of the "attention" paid to anonymous donors. And Luo is far too modest; it was front-page stories like his on September 14 that helped call attention to scary, anonymous, "deep-pocketed" Republican donors. Now it turns out Democrats have wealthy donors and spend lots of money on ads as well.

Despite a deluge of campaign spending over the last few months by Republican-leaning outside groups, Democratic candidates and their allies have outspent Republicans over all on television advertising in House races, according to data provided by Kantar Media's Campaign Media Analysis Group, which tracks political advertising. In Senate races, however, Republicans outspent Democrats.

The most recent numbers available, through Friday, showed that Democratic candidates and their allies spent $142 million on television advertising across all House races in the general election, compared with $119 million by Republican candidates and their backers. In the Senate, Republican candidates and their allies outspent Democrats, $159 million to $120 million.

The Democratic advantage on television spending in House races was something of a revelation, given all the attention that has been garnered this year by the staggering expenditures by Republican-oriented independent groups after a Supreme Court ruling in January that lifted restrictions on corporate political spending.

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