Downloading the full database, rather than using the advanced search online, makes it easier to group and sum dollar amounts by candidates, donors and campaign vendors. The table below shows which advertising vendors were paid the most by candidates in our 2010 election directory from July 1 to Dec. 31.
We already know that the major-party candidates in the governor's race, Gov. Rick Perry and Bill White, spent more than others on last year's ballot, thanks to the cost of television advertising. But some ad vendors also received lucrative business from the competitive state House races, with mixed results on Election Day.
For example, notice that The Thompson Group did work for losing Democrats, including state Reps. Patrick Rose, Stephen Frost, Kirk England and Joe Heflin. Conversely, Anthem Media helped several Republican challengers — Reps. Jason Isaac, Bill Zedler and Dee Margo, among others — win their elections. The top 10:
|CrossRoads Media||$18,788,385||Gov. Rick Perry (R)|
|Media Strategies||$14,189,013||Bill White (D), Valinda Bolton (D), Linda Chavez-Thompson (D), et al.|
|Alexander Group Consulting||$3,175,880||Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R)|
|Anthem Media||$1,367,998||Reps. Jason Isaac (R), Bill Zedler (R), Dee Margo (R), et al.|
|Davis Lenz Media||$1,337,204||Gov. Rick Perry (R), Reps. Paul Workman (R), Tim Kleinschmidt (R)|
|The Thompson Group||$1,202,146||Reps. Patrick Rose (D), Stephen Frost (D), Kirk England (D), Joe Heflin (D)|
|LatinWorks Marketing LP||$828,090||Gov. Rick Perry (R)|
|The Election Group||$690,960||Ag. Comm. Todd Staples (R), Reps. Dwayne Bohac (R), John Kuempel (R), et al.|
|Murphy Turner & Associates||$641,724||Reps. Cindy Burkett (R), Stefani Carter (R), Charlie Geren (R), et al.|
|Pathfinder Communications||$594,000||Land Comm. Jerry Patterson (R), Rep. Marva Beck (R)|
(It should be noted that these sums didn't necessarily go to each firm's profits. Some likely took just a percentage of total ad buys from televsion stations and printers).
Coming soon: How do the candidates compare in other political spending categories — polling, consulting, staff, etc. Let us know if you have ideas for data-driven features or visualizations, and be sure to follow @TribData on Twitter.