Freedom at Last...From Political Ads

Your television is free from the political ad stranglehold. If you live in the great state of Ohio, this is probably most welcome news.

According to the Nielsen Company, which tracks TV ratings and ad information, nearly 1.48 million political advertisements were broadcast in October alone, and Buckeye state residents saw the lion’s share of them.

Nielsen studied 128 local television markets and found that Ohio had the highest ratio of political ads to regular commercials. Cleveland was the most saturated political market—23.44 percent of all paid commercials broadcast there in October were political. Columbus came in very close second with 23.37 percent.

Portland and Sacramento were the two other cities that saw more than 20 percent of their commercials bought by political entities.

While Browns and Buckeye fans probably saw more political ads than beer commercials during football games, residents of Jackson, Mississippi were all but spared—just over one percent of that market’s ads were political. The bottom 10 included four cities from Texas and two from Tennessee.

Surprisingly, the center of American politics was not the center of political ads. The Washington, D.C. media market ranked at number 102 in the final month before November’s midterm elections, but it’s likely to be number one in 2011: Virginia holds off-year elections, so the D.C. area won’t enjoy radio silence for long.