Candidates Stuff Coffers Ahead of Ad Season

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COLUMBIA - Millions of advertising dollars will be spent in two key Missouri races this Summer and Fall, but neither of those are the presidential election. As a key swing state, Missouri has been targeted by presidential candidates in past elections, but a USA Today recent article reports the Show-me state isn't a major battleground in November's presidential election.

Residents can expect to see fewer television ads from the presidential candidates this time around. Current president Barack Obama lost to his opponent John McCain in Missouri by 4,000 votes in 2008. Obama's current campaign strategy targets states he won in the 2008 election.

But that does not mean Missouri voters will be tuned out of all campaign ads.

A look at the campaign expense information for the state's race for Governor and a seat in the U.S. Senate say voters will be seeing and hearing many of the same names.

According to the most recent financial report from the Missouri Ethics Commission, Governor Jay Nixon has spent $3,844,927.44 so far on his re-election campaign. Nixon's expenses make up more than half of the $5,365,965.46 he and his two challengers, Dave Spence and Bill Randles, have spent thus far.

That spending could increase even more before the Aug. 7 primary election. The three candidates have $7,880,206.69 in total available funds. That funding could predictably be used on more campaign ads in the next 42 days before the election.

Nixon, Spence and Randles are not the only names Missouri voters will become familiar with.

The race for a seat in the U.S. Senate has already featured plenty of advertisements. Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill is squaring off with businessman John Brunner, former State Treasurer Sarah Steelman, and Rep. Todd Akin. According to the Federal Election Committee's most recent report, the four candidates have combined to spend $7,904,342 through the end of March.

McCaskill, who has spent $3,698,850 so far, and Brunner, spending $2,414,574, make up the bulk of that expense total. The candidates for the U.S. Senate also have a rather large sum of available money. The four combine to have $8,307,754 between them, with McCaskill possessing just over $6 million of that total.

McCaskill has spent more than $1 million in the last year on media advertisements, and recently announced she had spent another $3 million to buy air time on television for the final weeks of her campaign.

Akin, Steelman and Brunner are currently battling amongst each other for the Republican nomination in August before taking on McCaskill.