A host of conservative groups are ramping up their efforts to derail health care reform in Congress, spending more than $3.91 million for a fresh wave of ad buys in key states, according to data provided by a Democratic ad tracker.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is leading the charge. The pro-business group is devoting an estimated $2.78 million dollars on ads over the next week. This includes more than $235,000 for spots to air in Connecticut, more than $540,000 in spots airing in Louisiana, $234,000 in spots airing in Maine, and more than $244,000 in spots airing in Arkansas. The group is even targeting predominantly conservative Alaska, with an ad purchase totaling more than $86,000.
All told, the money represents an ad-buy escalation. One week prior, the Chamber spent roughly $480,000 less ($2.3 million total) on ads.
The Chamber isn't alone. Employment Policies Institute, another pro-business group run by non-profit front man Rick Berman, is also placing an estimated $500,000 worth of ads in a variety of key states. Starting on December 14 and extending to December 20, the group is making the following purchases, according to the Democratic source.
North Dakota: $70,520
Finally, the senior-citizens issue group, 60-Plus-Association, is pouring an estimated $637,000 into ads running in Nebraska and Virginia starting on December 12 and extending to the 18th.
Combined, the expenditures represent a remarkably hefty sum of money, certainly when considering how long the health care debate has already lasted and how draining it has been on the resources of all groups involved. Health care reform opponents are already outpacing proponents when it comes to television purchases -- these buys seems likely to expand the margin.