Campaigns, issue groups spend millions on Orlando TV

It’s no secret to anyone who watches TV in Central Florida: More than five months before Election Day, the region is awash in an unprecedented – and expensive — flood of political commercials.

Campaigns, political action committees and organizations with political agendas have spent more than $4.5 million in broadcast TV and cable commercials just since April 30, an Orlando Sentinel review of public records has found. That has bought more than 2,400 commercials on Orlando’s broadcast stations, plus more on cable TV.

“That seems like an astonishing amount of money this early in the campaign,” said University of Central Florida political scientist Aubrey Jewett. “Typically you wouldn’t see ad buys like that until right after the [national party] conventions” in early September.

Much of the advertising is fueled by so-called “super PACs” – which can raise unlimited amounts to advertise in support of a candidate – and advocacy groups funded by corporate contributions allowed under a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision. But the biggest single spender – more than $2 million this month – is the campaign to re-elect President Barack Obama.

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