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California’s Senate Race Sees More Ad Spending Than 2024 Presidential Race Since February

Credits: Los Angeles Times

Since the beginning of February, the California Senate race has surpassed the presidential race in ad spending, with $71.3 million spent on ads.

This makes it the most expensive non-presidential contest of 2024, excluding future reservations. In comparison, the Ohio Senate race has seen about $29.2 million in ad spending.

This significant ad spending in California’s Senate race is a departure from the past. Ad spending was much lower in the last two Senate primaries in the state, which featured incumbents.

California’s Senate (Credits: CalMatters)

In 2018, during the reelection campaign of the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein, ad spending was about $4.2 million. In 2022, when Sen.

Alex Padilla was seeking his first full term after being appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom to replace Vice President Kamala Harris, ad spending was just over $6 million.

The race to fill the seat once held by Sen. Feinstein raises whether the general election will feature two Democrats or one. Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff will likely secure one of the spots on the November ballot.

His campaign prefers to face Republican Steve Garvey, a former baseball star, rather than fellow Democratic Rep. Katie Porter. Schiff’s campaign has ads portraying Garvey as “too conservative,” hoping to secure a more favorable matchup in the deep-blue state.

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