This is only a Preview!

You must Publish this diary to make this visible to the public,
or click 'Edit Diary' to make further changes first.

Posting a Diary Entry

Daily Kos welcomes blog articles from readers, known as diaries. The Intro section to a diary should be about three paragraphs long, and is required. The body section is optional, as is the poll, which can have 1 to 15 choices. Descriptive tags are also required to help others find your diary by subject; please don't use "cute" tags.

When you're ready, scroll down below the tags and click Save & Preview. You can edit your diary after it's published by clicking Edit Diary. Polls cannot be edited once they are published.

If this is your first time creating a Diary since the Ajax upgrade, before you enter any text below, please press Ctrl-F5 and then hold down the Shift Key and press your browser's Reload button to refresh its cache with the new script files.


  1. One diary daily maximum.
  2. Substantive diaries only. If you don't have at least three solid, original paragraphs, you should probably post a comment in an Open Thread.
  3. No repetitive diaries. Take a moment to ensure your topic hasn't been blogged (you can search for Stories and Diaries that already cover this topic), though fresh original analysis is always welcome.
  4. Use the "Body" textbox if your diary entry is longer than three paragraphs.
  5. Any images in your posts must be hosted by an approved image hosting service (one of: imageshack.us, photobucket.com, flickr.com, smugmug.com, allyoucanupload.com, picturetrail.com, mac.com, webshots.com, editgrid.com).
  6. Copying and pasting entire copyrighted works is prohibited. If you do quote something, keep it brief, always provide a link to the original source, and use the <blockquote> tags to clearly identify the quoted material. Violating this rule is grounds for immediate banning.
  7. Be civil. Do not "call out" other users by name in diary titles. Do not use profanity in diary titles. Don't write diaries whose main purpose is to deliberately inflame.
For the complete list of DailyKos diary guidelines, please click here.

Please begin with an informative title:

Map of U.S. television media markets, broken down by county

Map of TV media markets for the continental U.S., from Dishuser.org

Campaign advertising has already reached avalanche levels this year, but where are ads piling up the deepest? The Washington Post's Reid Wilson has compiled a list of the five media markets that have seen the most ad spending in the first half of the year, and the surprise at the top is Denver. That's thanks to not only to Colorado's competitive Senate race but also the hotly contested battle for the state's 6th Congressional District. (Wilson's figures includes future ad reservations as well.)

Denver is followed by Tampa—mostly because of the adpocalypse related to the 13th District special election earlier this year—then Detroit, Anchorage and Little Rock, all of which are in states with top Senate races. Wilson's rankings are based on the total number of dollars, though; if you factor in how expensive each market is, the thickest ad density has to be in dirt-cheap Anchorage, not populous-and-pricey Denver.

Indeed, the world of media buying is an arcane and complicated one, even when thinking about statewide races, and even more so when thinking about what markets overlap which congressional districts. To help make that a little easier, we've created a helpful guide that you'll want to bookmark.

Our database details which media markets are found in each state and each district as well as the reverse—that is, which states and districts are found in each market. We also go one step further, breaking everything down by percentage. Just as an example, now you can know that all of Alabama's 1st District is in the Mobile market, but the larger Mobile market is almost evenly split between Alabama's 1st and Florida's 1st, just over the border. (Mobile's market also encompasses little bits and pieces of three other districts.)

There are a few other details to be aware of. Even though it's heavily targeted with ad dollars, we don't include Alaska in our analysis, since the state's three media markets (Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau) don't have hard-and-fast boundaries the way they do in the lower 48; in fact, most of the state, geographically speaking, doesn't fall in any media market at all.

And you might observe that in Washington, D.C. isn't included in the district-to-market tab, but it is included in the market-to-district tab. That's because if you advertise for a race in state or district covered by the Washington market, you're still paying to reach those 600,000 people in D.C. proper, regardless of their disenfranchisement.

Like we said, it's complex. But if you keep our spreadsheet handy, it'll help you make sense of all the political advertising destined to come our way this year.


You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Fri Jul 04, 2014 at 12:59 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.