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Expert: Ad spending in governor’s race could hit $40 million

Posted at 7:06 PM, Oct 21, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-21 23:09:39-04

MICHIGAN– $20 million and counting.

That’s the price tag on Michigan’s race for governor.

The ads? Impossible to escape.

But do they work?

According to the Michigan Campaign Finance Network (MCFN), the spending should continue to soar as we get closer to Nov. 4, now just 14 days away.

“This is not a particularly unusual gubernatorial race,” said Rich Robinson, executive director of the MCFN. “This thing will end up coming in somewhere around $40 million.”

Robinson told FOX 17 the massive spending for and against incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Snyder and Democrat Mark Schauer should’ve been expected.

In this particular contest, Robinson said it was up to the perceived underdog – Schauer - to spend big early in the race.

“When you're behind like that you've got to spend more heavily to try and lift your name identification, try to get some identification in the voters' minds where you stand on issues,” Robinson explained.

John Clark, a professor of political science at Western Michigan University says even though Schauer had a lengthy political resume, he wasn’t well known across the state, but the ads have worked.

“The opportunity that he's had to use advertising to raise his name recognition has been very helpful,” Clark explained.

Robinson says it’s also helped that the spending – on both sides - has been about equal.

“Nobody's been drowned out by the other side,” Robinson said. “The viewers got a chance to evaluate what they've seen and heard.”

With just two weeks until the election, it’s now about getting out the vote.

“Both parties now, and some affiliated groups, are working diligently at voter identification and getting messages to voters to get out the vote,” said Robinson.

According to polling aggregator Real Clear Politics, Gov. Snyder leads Schauer by four points.