Political ad spending set to shatter record

political ad spending
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Political ad spending is projected to reach new heights by the end of the 2024 election cycle.

Data predicts the spending will eclipse $10 billion in what would amount to the most expensive two years in political history.

AdImpact, a firm that tracks political ad spending, projects that campaigns and outside groups will spend $2.7 billion on ads in the presidential election alone.

"The contested Republican primary coupled with a concentration on seven key general battleground states will drive spending in the category," the firm said.

Those seven states -- Pennsylvania, Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Nevada and Wisconsin -- are projected to make up 76% of presidential general spending.

"While the Presidential election is the largest single race in the country, the geographic impact of the spending is expected to be limited to key swing states as campaigns weigh how best to utilize their resources," AdImpact said.

Senate spending on political advertising is projected at $2.1 billion and House spending is projected at $1.7 billion as both parties try to gain control of Congress.

Gubernatorial elections will see the smallest spending, at $400 million. The area projected to see the most spending -- $3.3 billion -- is what AdImpact calls "downballot," which consists of all political spending that is not presidential, House, Senate or gubernatorial.

"We have seen rapid growth in this category over the last two cycles, increasing nearly 50% from 2020 to 2022," AdImpact said. "This growth is driven by ballot initiatives and increased spending in state legislative races."

All together AdImpact is projecting $10.2 billion in political expenditures. It's a 13% increase over the previous record of $9.02 billion set during the 2019-2020 election cycle.

The state expected to see the most spending is California, at $1.19 billion, according to AdImpact. That's followed by Arizona ($821 million), Pennsylvania ($725 million), Michigan ($659 million) and Nevada ($576 million) rounding out the top five.

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