How Many Political Ads Does $7 Billion Buy? We’re About to Find Out.
by Gabriel T. Rubin, The Wall Street Journal
Kantar revises projection upward as home-bound voters are easiest to reach via TV, digital
2020 Political ad spending estimates balloon, with Kantar now projecting that $7 billion will be spent by campaigns and PACs on TV and digital. The new estimate is the second time this cycle Kantar has revised their projection upward: first to $6.5 billion from $6 billion in February, to account for the role played by billionaires Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer in the Democratic primaries, and now to $7 billion based on the astronomical sums raised by presidential and congressional campaigns. An expected dip in fundraising due to the coronavirus pandemic and the economic crisis has not materialized.
Super PACs are a key driver of spending: Senate Majority PAC, which supports Democratic candidates, has already spent more than $100 million. The Trump campaign is spreading the map, trying to find dry ground in the midst of a tough stretch in the campaign, with polls showing Joe Biden with leads both nationally and in crucial swing states. Last month, President Trump spent $14 million on ads in states he won in 2016, including Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin. Trump has committed to more than $150 million in ad spending after Labor Day. The Biden campaign, meanwhile, has kept advertising to a small list of battlegrounds—fewer than half the states where Trump is currently on the air.
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