MOLINE, Illinois -- The candidates for Illinois governor are preparing for their second televised debate tomorrow night in Chicago. And the race is on pace to be the most expensive statewide election with two multi-millionaires self-funding their campaigns.
When it's all said and done, political analysts estimate both campaigns combined with total more than $300M, some of that money spent on negative political ads.
A month before election day, and negative political ads are everywhere.
"Politics is a tough business when you're in it as a candidate," says political analyst Porter McNeil.
McNeil says bashing your opponent is all part of the campaign cycle.
"Political consulting proves some of those negatives do work, so they continue to use them even though they say they would like to have more positive ads," says McNeil.
But in the beginning, candidates tend to run positive ads about themselves.
"One of the golden rules in a campaign is to define yourself before your opponent defines you," says McNeil.
Then a few months before election day, the ads take a negative turn.
"You're seeing both Rauner and Pritzker taking their gloves off towards each other."
And at this point, some viewers are used to it, but even for McNeil, some ads this election cycle stand out.
"The difference is the kind of money we're seeing on both sides of this race. Both candidates are competitive, both have resources both want to win, and both committed to doing whatever it takes to win. It's sort of unprecedented in that way," says McNeil.
In a few weeks, McNeil says we will enter into the final stage of the ad cycle. The ads will make a shift back to positive to end the campaign.