July 9, 2014 at 5:52 pm

Snyder, Schauer campaigns ramp up TV ad buys

In a sign of the coming onslaught of political television advertising this fall, the campaigns supporting Republican Gov. Rick Snyder and presumed Democratic challenger Mark Schauer are starting to reserve or buy millions of dollars in air time for Michigan’s general election.

Snyder’s re-election campaign this week began purchasing $5 million in air time for the period between Labor Day and Election Day on broadcast television stations across the state, according to a source familiar with the ad buys.

The governor’s campaign spent $1 million during the first six months of this year and has made additional purchases for an ad airing this month, public records show.

The Democratic Governors Association has already signaled it has reserved $6 million in fall air time as the group believes Snyder is vulnerable. But the DGA has declined to discuss its strategy for helping Schauer get elected.

“All the fancy ads in the world can’t change the fact that Rick Snyder gutted funding for schools and raised taxes on seniors while cutting taxes for companies, even if they ship jobs overseas,” DGA spokesman Danny Kanner said Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Schauer’s campaign reserved nearly $280,000 in air time on WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) from Sept. 29 through Nov. 4, according to public records.

Schauer’s campaign has made about $3.2 million in statewide ad reservations for October, according to another source familiar with those purchases.

The Republican Governors Association, which has spent $1.5 million this year attacking Schauer, is sitting on a $4.36 million war chest in its Michigan-based political action committee to use defending Snyder this fall.

RGA spokesman Jon Thompson declined to comment on the group’s fall ad buying strategy, but said the band of GOP governors is “all in for Gov. Snyder.”

“His reforms have dramatically transformed Michigan for the better and we’re committed to seeing him re-elected so he can continue to institute pro-growth, pro-jobs policies and continue to the Michigan comeback,” Thompson said Wednesday.

clivengood@detroitnews.com