Mid-Term Election Ad Spending Enters The Home Stretch.


With the summer months in the rear-view mirror, political campaigns have shifted into the home-stretch of the 2022 midterm elections. When it comes to campaigns and their Political Action Committees, it’s run, don’t walk to media outlets. According to AdImpact, $1.4 billion in advertising time has been booked from Tuesday (Sept. 6) through Election Day (Nov. 8) for all political races across the country.


Democrats are out-spending Republicans, says NBC News, citing AdImpact data. Dems have booked more than $658 million in ad time at this point, compared to $554 million by Republicans with another $183 million placed by other groups.


Georgia’s Senate race is so far the richest race, with $115 million booked from last Tuesday through Election Day. Michigan claims the most expensive governor’s race with $49 million in ad bookings. The top House race for spending from Sept. 6 through Nov. 8 is Minnesota’s 2nd District with more than $17 million booked.


As earlier reported by Inside Radio, AdImpact forecasts $9.67 billion for 2022's total midterm election ad spend. That would make it the second consecutive election cycle to pass $9 billion and the most expensive midterm, not to mention political ad cycle, on record.


“It no longer takes a Presidential ticket at the top of the ballot to push a cycle near the $10B threshold,” AdImpact said in a report last month. “An increasingly polarized electorate and easily accessible online fundraising tools have been major factors propelling this surge in spending.”


While historically Presidential elections have received the largest share of the political ad pie, accounting for nearly a third of total spend in both the 2016 and 2020 elections, the first 19 months the 2022 cycle has seen $700 million more than 2020, even without a Presidential election on the ticket.


Driving up ad spend and helping fill the Presidential void are 2022's 38 Gubernatorial elections, vs. just 14 in 2020. While Gubernatorial election ad spend fell from $1.1 billion in 2018 to $246 million in 2020, 2022 has already seen six times what was spent in 2020 and is projected to reach $2.43 billion for the cycle.


At $4.98 billion, broadcast television is expected to make up more than half (51.5%) of 2022's total political ad spend, with radio pegged at $270 million or 2.77%. The remainder is fairly evenly split among cable, CTV, and digital media.

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