TALLAHASSEE — If you live Florida’s Tampa media market, you’re used to seeing a barrage of political advertisements. So far, during the 2014 election cycle, it’s business as usual.
Gov. Rick Scott’s campaign has spent heavily in the market, which touches 12 counties. By the end of April, Let’s Get to Work, a committee aligned with Scott, will have poured $1.9 million into the Tampa market, according to publicly available media-buy data.
The numbers also underscore the importance of Central Florida more generally. Second on the list is Orlando, where Scott’s campaign has made $1.3 million. Those are the only two markets where Scott has spent more than $1 million.
There is good reason.
The two markets have larger populations than the more densely populated Miami and West Palm Beach media markets. In 2012 presidential race, 3.6 million people voted in the Tampa and Orlando markets, a number that was 2.5 million in the south Florida markets.
In addition, the Central Florida markets have more persuadable voters than Democrat-heavy South Florida. In 2012, President Barack Obama beat GOP challenger Mitt Romney by a total of roughly 7,000 votes in the Orlando media market.
The West Palm Beach market ad buys — $783,104 — have given Scott’s campaign its biggest bang for the buck in an individual market.
The campaign has purchased the most “gross rating points” in that market, which help identify an advertisement’s intensity by identifying a target audience within a specific market and measuring the number of times that audience is exposed to an ad.
The campaign has purchased 5,576 points in West Palm Beach, with Tampa and Orlando market coming in second and third. Combined, the campaign has purchased more points in Central Florida than in South Florida by a margin of 1,241.
So far, Crist’s campaign has not purchased any television time, but he still leads by varying margins in most polls. A Rasmussen poll out Thursday had Crist with a 45-39 lead. Other polls have been closer, but generally have Crist up by a slight margin.
Though Crist’s campaign and a committee aligned with it have nearly $11 million to campaign for the fall elections, Scott’s campaign is set to shatter the state record with far more than that. Crist’s campaign so far has chosen to take shots at Scott in media interviews and through a barrage of email blasts.