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rick santorum in michigan Rick Santorum greets patrons at the Rainbow Grill in Grandville, Michigan, on February 28, the day of the Michigan primary. (Photo:REUTERS/Jim Young)

Election 2012: Candidates Spend Millions in Michigan

But residents vote based on issues, not negative ads

By Molly Pribble | February 29 , 2012

Residents of Michigan headed to the polls yesterday to cast their vote in the Republican presidential primary. For Michiganders, it was the end of a long week of campaign ads and politicking.

More than 11,000 TV advertisements aired in Michigan between February 14 and February 27. The cost of running those ads was more than $5 million. This is according to Kenneth Goldstein, president of Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group (CMAG). Goldstein’s group reviews the content of political advertisements, receives election voter results, and provides on-air interviews to ABC, CNN and other news outlets.

Most of those 11,000 ads were negative, Goldstein said.

"Fewer people may turn out to vote because of the negative ads," Goldstein told the Kids Press Corps.

In fact, more people turned out to vote than in 2008.

As of Wednesday morning, 998,865 votes had been counted. In 2008, 869,169 votes were cast. Both figures are according to the New York Times.

The reason for the increase might be that voters had decided who they were voting for before the ads began airing. Voters I spoke to said the negative TV ads didn't sway them. They had narrowed their decision by watching the news, watching the latest debates, and doing their own Internet research.

Rather than focus on the negative ads, voters in Pittsfield Township were concerned with the issues. They were especially focused on the national debt, the federal budget, the economy, and the future of the country.

Voters also said they wanted an honorable, honest, and open-minded person with integrity and moral values to be their President.

Michigan state representative Mark Ouimet added that voters are also concerned about jobs — in Michigan and across the country. That is what brought people out to vote, not negative ads.

"I believe that dissatisfaction with the direction that the nation is moving is a main reason that people are heading to the polls today," Ouimet told the Kids Press Corps.

Mitt Romney won the Michigan primary yesterday, as well as the Arizona primary. Check out Kid Reporter Charlie Kadado's story from Romney's victory speech in Novi, Michigan, for more about these elections.

ELECTION 2012

Scholastic News Kid Reporters are on the campaign trail! Keep up with latest election news on the Election 2012 website.

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