‘Windfall’ to states’ economies after primaries

Cash: It’s why Florida bumped up its race. It’s why super PACs are playing such an enormous role in this election cycle. And it’s why local economies love primary season.

Money gets spread around a state when four, five or even six candidates hit the trail there, with a campaign staff and media following close behind.

Iowa officials estimated between $50 and 60 million flooded into the state during its 2004 caucuses, according to American Public Media’s Marketplace. And that was before the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision.

Now, with the advent of super PACs, even more money is being injected into swing states – often at the top local TV stations. The Hill predicts stations in key markets might see a “windfall of advertising revenue this year.” 

Trying to get a piece of the pie, Florida set an early primary date, flouting the GOP national committee, and lost about half of its delegates. But state leaders said the Sunshine State still came out on top.

“You’re seeing millions upon millions of dollars in advertisements, there are thousands of reporters and campaign workers using our hotels, eating in our restaurants. Seven straight days of action,” state Senate President Mike Haridopolos told Florida Today. “And not only are all eyes on Florida, but this week — with its mild weather and sunshine — people will be looking at us across the country as they put on their winter jackets and shovel snow and say, ‘We should be down in Florida.’ ”

Almost $20 million was spent on television advertising alone, the Associated Press reported.

In Charleston County, S.C., hotel occupancy increased by 7.8 percent in January, The Post and Courier reported, largely due to the state’s primary.

In Myrtle Beach alone, the local economy was boosted $2.9 million, according to The Sun News. The city saw about $11.5 million worth of media publicity thanks to mentions in newspaper and broadcast stories.

“This has paid off, it has paid off big dollars,” Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes told The Sun News.


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