TNS Media Intelligence says that 2008 should produce a bumper crop of political spending, both on elections and issue advertising, with total ranging anywhere from 2.5B to 3B. That’s on top of a what has been a robust off year of political/issue spending. TNS’s Campaign Media Analysis Group estimates that 529M has already been spent this year, a total that should settle somewhere around the 700M mark by the end of December, fueled in part by three off-year gubernatorial races in Louisiana, Kentucky and Mississippi.
In addition to a great deal of issue advertising, including a recent blitz over the SCHIP veto, the presidential primaries are fueling early spending in 2007. TNS suspects that 2008 will blow past the 100M mark before the year is a month old.
Republicans will face long odds in their attempt to regain control of the Senate, where they are defending 22 seats (to only 12 for the Democrats). On top of that, the party is facing at least five retirements, plus difficult defensive campaigns in Minnesota, New Hampshire and Maine. TNS speculates that Republicans may emphasize House races because of this, keeping Senate spending at or below 2006 levels while raising the ante for the House of Representatives.
Tomorrow: Projected hot spots identified.