All those political ads popping up on television and computer screens for Michigan state campaigns this election season come with a hefty price tag.
The Detroit News estimates that $175 million has been spent on Michigan campaigns for state ballot proposals and state House and Supreme Court battles in 2012.
That compares to a total of $107 million spent for all Michigan state campaigns in 2010, according to the Michigan Campaign Finance Network (MCFN). Although not a presidential election year, 2010 included races for Michigan's governor, attorney general, secretary of state, the state House and Senate, several courts and the state board of education.
Rich Robinson, MCFN's executive director, told The Huffington Post in an email that the Detroit News' figure for 2012 election spending was "a good estimate at a moving target." But he added that observers may never "get a firm handle on some of the dark money" spent this campaign season.
The Detroit News analysis also estimated that $149.5 million was spent on six state ballot proposals; $34.6 million on Political Action Committees; $13 million on state House candidates and $10 million on Michigan Supreme Court races.
Robinson said his organization is waiting to publish new figures on spending until the final numbers come in so that the information can be accurately recorded.
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