Of the 66,000 television ads for House and Senate races that aired through March 9, more than 30,000 conveyed an anti-Affordable Care Act message, Bloomberg News reported Friday.
President Barack Obama's signature health care reform law has inspired a flurry of political advertisements targeting Democratic incumbents and candidates alike.
The more than 30,000 anti-Obamacare ads represent a 12-fold increase from the 2010 election cycle, according to data compiled by the New York-based CMAG, which tracks advertising. The spots accounted for 45 percent of all ads this cycle, up from 12 percent during the 2010 midterm elections.
As Bloomberg News notes, organizations unaffiliated with any candidate have put out 72 percent of ads that have run this cycle, a sharp increase from the 13 percent such organizations released in 2010.
17,000 of the 30,000 anti-Affordable Care Act ads have come from the Koch Brothers-supported conservative nonprofit group Americans for Prosperity. The advocacy group's ads frequently link Democrats with the health care law, rather than promote the Republican candidate in any particular race.
In early February, The Washington Post reported that Americans for Prosperity had spent more than $27 million on ads since August.
“We knew there would be heightened public awareness around the implementation of the law, and we thought it was important to go up early with a heavy effort,” Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips told Bloomberg.
The group has set its sights on Sens. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), among others who face reelection battles this year.
The second-largest number of ads have come from the Senate Majority PAC, which is working to defend Senate Democrats. The organization has run more than 5,200 ads so far this cycle, less than one-third of Americans for Prosperity’s number.