TV ad campaigns heat up in race for Va. governor

WASHINGTON – With just two months left in the race for Virginia’s next governor, voters can expect a landslide of ads to start hitting the airwaves in the state.

Both campaigns have already spent millions of dollars on advertising. But Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, says political action committees from outside the state will spend millions more.

“The commercial TV stations are already making plans to ask their non-political advertisers to wait until after Election Day,” says Sabato.

So far, most of the ads have aired on cable channels, which sell cheaper ad spots. But that is about to change.

“People are going to see a massive number of ads. Maybe not as many as they saw during the presidential elections, but I doubt they’ll be able to distinguish between the two,” Sabato says.

Republican candidate Ken Cuccinelli released his latest ad Tuesday touting his intervention in the Thomas Haynesworth case.

Haynesworth spent 27 years in prison for a crime DNA evidence later proved he did not commit. Cuccinelli, who is currently the state’s attorney general, helped release Haynesworth from prison and the ad features Haynesworth.

The latest poll, released by Emerson College Polling Society last week, shows Democrat Terry McAuliffe leading Cuccinelli by 10 points, 45 percent to 35 percent.

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