Political Spending Projected to Reach Record High

Political spending across the United States is expected to reach $10.69 billion. The number is a revision from AdImpact’s earlier number of $10.2 billion.

“This election cycle is on track to be the most expensive on record, projected to have 19% growth over the 2019-2020 cycle total of $9.02B,” the report says, adding, “We project $5.35B on broadcast, $1.93B on cable, $1.51B on CTV, $1.12B on digital, $381M on radio, $309M on network cable, and $102M on satellite.”

“We project $2.68B in the Presidential election, $2.15B in the Senate, $1.79B in the House, $469M in Gubernatorial, and $3.59B in the Downballot category.”

According to the report, California, Arizona, and Pennsylvania will have the greatest political spending. California is expected to have $1.19 billion in advertising, Arizona with $803 million, and Pennsylvania with $800 million.

Despite Arizona being projected to reach $800 million in political efforts, the state experienced one of the “most significant cuts to projected spending.”

Arizona and West Virginia, due to “Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema’s decisions not to seek reelection,” the report explains, have seen reduced political spending.

Maryland, Montana, Ohio, and Florida have some of the largest increases in projected spending. The report explains that the increase is due to abortion and marijuana-related ballot initiatives.

“While we are 127 days from November 5th, the true spending season has not started yet. Historically, nearly 70% of political spending occurs between July 1st and Election Day,” the report adds. “Through June 30th, we have tracked over $3.10B in spending, pacing $529M ahead of the 2020 cycle and $71M behind the 2022 cycle.”

Swing states are projected to have 17% more political spending than in the 2020 presidential election. “With spending centralized in a handful of swing states that will ultimately decide the election, we expect the general to see $2.16B, a 17% increase over 2020,” the report says. “Even with the unexpected activity from Democratic advertisers, a slow primary season led us to revise Presidential spending by nearly $100M, down to $2.68B.”