With the Trump campaign saturating TV with reelection ads, and former Vice President Joe Biden beginning to advertise, Kantar has once again boosted its forecast for 2020 political spending. Kantar's Campaign Media Analysis now estimates a mammoth $7 billion will be spent by campaigns and PACs on TV and digital in this election cycle.
It’s the second time Kantar has revised its forecast upward. In late February the firm raised its 2020 presidential campaign spending estimate another half-billion dollars to $6.5 billion, an increase of about 8% over the previous estimate. The reason for the February hike was simple: the campaign of Democratic hopeful and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, who had a net worth of $61.9 billion.
But now the staggering sums raised by presidential and congressional campaigns have Kantar/CMAG rethinking even that lofty number. As The Wall Street Journal reports, an expected dip in fundraising due to the coronavirus pandemic and the economic crisis has failed to materialize.
One of the main spending drivers is Super PACs, such as Senate Majority PAC which supports Democratic candidates in their quest to regain control of the U.S. Senate. It has already shelled out more than $100 million.
Meanwhile with polls showing Biden leading Trump by an average of nearly 10 points, the Trump campaign is “spreading the map,” the Journal says. In June, the President spent $14 million on ads in states he won in 2016, including Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin. The President’s reelection campaign has allocated more than $150 million for ad spending after Labor Day.
On the other side of the aisle, the Biden campaign continues to focus on a small group of battleground states that number less than half the states where Trump is currently on the air.
For the month of June 10 to July 9, total political advertising from all marketers totaled $5.2 million, with 1,979 airings and 1.7 billion impressions, according to iSpot.tv, as reported by MediaPost. During the previous month period – May 10 to June 9 – less than half that amount was spent, $1.95 million, for 599 airings, yielding 867 million impressions.
But as they rally to gain control of the Senate nationwide, Democrats are saturating the airwaves in battleground states, outpacing Republican spending. In all, Democrat candidates and outside groups supporting them have spent $109 million on radio, TV and digital, compared with $79 million for Republicans since the beginning of the election cycle last year, according to Kantar’s data.