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Political Ad Spending Hit Another High Last Week; October Topped $2 Billion.


It is one week until Election Day, and yet more than 22 million votes have already been cast across America. No surprise then that AdImpact says last week (Oct. 23-29) was the biggest political ad spending week of the entire 2022 cycle. It says $637.9 million was invested, a seven percent week-to-week increase. It also marked the fifth week in a row that political ad dollars grew week-to-week.


Taken together, the state with the most political ad spending last week was California. That is where AdImpact calculated $70 million was poured into campaign ads. Pennsylvania ranked second ($53 million), followed by Nevada ($41 million) and Arizona ($38 million).


AdImpact says U.S. Senate races accounted for the biggest portion of the total with $164 million spent by the Democrats and Republicans with control of the chamber within reach for either party, according to the polls.


As one might expect, the battleground states are where the action is. At $30.8 million, Pennsylvania is where the most money flowed last week as Democrats spent $17.9 million to support John Fetterman and Republicans invested $12.9 million to support Mehmet Oz.


Georgia ranked second with $24.4 million worth of Senate ads, followed by Nevada ($17.7 million), Arizona ($16.6 million) Wisconsin ($12.5 million), and Ohio ($11.5 million). With pollsters saying momentum in recent weeks has shifted toward the GOP, the Democrats are looking to ads to blunt those gains. AdImpact says in each of the Senate battleground states, the Democrats outspent their Republican rivals.


The GOP is increasingly likely to win control of the House based on public polling, and yet the Democrats are not giving up. After the Senate, AdImpact says House contests were the second-largest factor last week with a combined $159 million spent nationwide by House candidates.


No House garnered more than the fight for the second congressional district in Maine where Democrat incumbent Jared Golden is battling Republican Bruce Poliquin. AdImpact says $5.4 million was spent last week by the two candidates. Michigan’s seventh congressional district was not far behind with $5 million invested last week in the race been Democrat incumbent Elissa Slotkin and Republican challenger Tom Barrett.


The three dozen gubernatorial elections are also generating significant dollars. AdImpact calculates $109 million hit media coffers coast-to-coast. The biggest tally was in Wisconsin where $11.2 million was spent as Democratic Governor Tony Evers looks to win another term and Republican Tim Michels is working to upset that plan. Texas had the second-highest weekly tally in the gubernatorial race ($9.2 million), followed by Nevada ($8.4 million), New York ($8 million), and Florida ($7.6 million).


An October To Remember


AdImpact earlier reported that September saw $1.1 billion of political ad spending and it expected October to top that. It has not yet released its final tally, but preliminary data shows $2.14 billion was spent last month. The firm says political advertising for the 2022 midterm elections has already eclipsed 2020 non-Presidential ad spending.


AdImpact has forecast the 2022 election cycle could add up to $9.7 billion in spending overall, with radio’s share pegged at $270 million.

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