The Big Winner Of This Year’s Midterms . . . The Media
No, you weren’t imaging that you were exposed to even more political advertising than usual during this year’s elections. According to Kantar Media combined candidate, PAC and issue advocate spending totaled $5.25B during this cycle. That’s up a whopping 78% compared to the 2014 midterms, and was even 17% higher than the 2016 total. That last stat is particularly remarkable since there was no Presidential spending this time around.
TV still carried the lion’s share of political spending, with $3.98B (75% of the total!) being spent on broadcast and cable TV. Despite Facebook’s political ad scandal from 2016, digital spending also surged – up 46% from 2016 to $950M. The Dems slightly outspend the GOP (53%/47%), which is a reversal from the past few cycles.
As crazy as these increases seem, it doesn’t feel like the growth of political spending will slow down any time soon. Believe it or not there’s already planning happening in the background for the 2020 election cycle, leading to predictions of an “always on” political advertising environment in the future.