Midterm Political Ad Tally: $5.25 Billion, Advantage Shifted To Democrats

by Joe Mandese, MediaPost

2018 Midterm Election

The official numbers are in, and according to WPP competitive ad-tracking units Kantar Media and its CMAG political media specialty division, the 2018 campaign ad spending set new bars for both broadcast TV and digital media.

The chart above shows how each sector -- local broadcast TV, local cable TV and digital -- have grown between 2014 and 2018, rounded up to the nearest decimal point.

The granular estimates are:

In total, those Big 3 political media totaled $5.25 billion in spending during the 2018 midterm elections, up 20% from 2016's Presidential election year, and up 78% from 2014's midterms. 

According to Kantar's analysis, the spending advantage shifted from Republican dominance to Democrats in 2018.

"Democrats had a 53/46 edge in spending in 2018," the competitive ad researcher found, noting: "In 2010, Republicans led spending by a 54/45 margin fueled by negative sentiment towards the Affordable Care Act; in 2014, Republicans more narrowly led spending by a 51/47 margin." 

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