Political groups have an incentive to flood the airwaves with political ads, even when it’s not an election year.
IRS rules allow groups like Crossroads GPS and Americans for Prosperity to operate as a “social action” group, which lets them keep their donors secret. However, to keep that status, they have to run “issue ads” to balance out campaign ads they run during elections. From Politico:
The upshot: An unrelenting political cycle that isn’t likely to fade from the scene anytime soon.
“What we are witnessing is another stage in the evolution of the permanent campaign, where the policy arguments and partisan battles advanced during an election are continued long after the voting is over, as a first step in the next campaign,” said Anthony Corrado, an independent expert on campaign finance.
The “issue ads” can’t advocate for the election or defeat of a candidate, but they can urge viewers or listeners to call a politician’s office.