Under the Dome

All those TV ads added up this year

N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory, left, and Attorney General Roy Cooper
N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory, left, and Attorney General Roy Cooper N&O

TV advertising for state elections in North Carolina reached $52 million on nearly 97,000 commercials, according to a final accounting by the Center for Public Integrity.

CPI tracked the ad spending nationwide to get a picture of what interest groups were spending money on state candidates.

North Carolina had the second highest spending in a governor race — $34.7 million on 66,725 commercials — trailing only Missouri, which elected former Navy SEAL Eric Greitens over Attorney General Chris Koster in what was expected to be a close race.

North Carolina’s Gov. Pat McCrory trails Attorney General Roy Cooper by about 7,700 votes, which are still being counted; McCrory has asked for a recount.

Cooper spent nearly twice as much as McCrory on TV ads: $13.4 million to the governor’s $7.6 million.

McCrory’s biggest outside supporter in the TV ads war was the Republican Governors Association, which spent $3.6 million. The Democratic candidate benefited from $4.2 million in spending by a nonprofit called A Better NC.

Cooper was also backed by environmental groups, and McCrory by free-market and social conservatives.


Craig Jarvis: 919-829-4576, @CraigJ_NandO