Interactive: Where Texas Primary Candidates Bought Airtime

Use this interactive to see how statewide candidates spent campaign funds to purchase network airtime in the state's four biggest media markets. Roll over the bars to get specific details on regional ad buys. Statewide candidates who did not purchase network airtime in these markets are not included. For a full list of statewide candidates that were on this year's primary ballots, click here.

Network TV Ad Buys By Candidate
(Jan. 1 - March 3)
  • Austin
  • Dallas
  • Houston
  • San Antonio

The Federal Communications Commission requires that some stations in the top 50 TV markets report details of all their political ad sales online. In Texas, ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC stations in Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio and Austin are required to post their political ad sales.

The records provide a revealing, albeit incomplete, glimpse into how campaigns in competitive statewide races are spending their resources. The data does not include political ads purchased to air on cable networks or on network television stations in Texas' smaller markets. It also does not include spending to air political ads on smaller networks in Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio or Austin.

Between Jan. 1 and March 3, 12 statewide candidates collectively spent more than $16 million on network ad buys in the state's four biggest media markets.

Texans for a Conservative Majority, a PAC that supports U.S. Sen. John Cornyn's re-election bid, also spent more than $250,000 to purchase ads in Houston that criticized U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Friendswood, who challenged Cornyn.

State Rep. Dan Branch, R-Dallas, a candidate for attorney general, spent more than any other statewide candidate on network airtime in the state's four biggest markets, with more than $2.74 million in ad buys, according to FCC records.

After Branch, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who came in second in his primary race and will face state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, in a runoff, spent the most among statewide candidates on network ad buys with $2.56 million for his re-election campaign.

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