Economy a factor in 2010 political spend


Republicans have a positive view of the 2010 midterms and are ready to take the offensive. And if the economy stays sour it will only solidify Republican chances.

But the presence of opportunity and hot issues could be compromised by lack of campaign donors due to the sluggish economy.

2009 political should top off at about $1B.

According to TNS Media Intelligence, there are plenty of places on the political map where Democrats and Republicans are preparing for intense hand-to-hand (or dollar-to-dollar) combat. And hot-button issues will be plentiful – but the focus will be different on that score. In 2009, issue advertising was actually about the issue; in 2010, it is more likely to focus on where a particular candidate stands on the issue, according to a report in Media Life Magazine.

A big factor in 2010, big enough to fuel a new record in overall mid-term political spending, is the fact that the vast majority of states will have races for governor, many of them double-dips thanks to hotly contested primaries.

The fact that President Barack Obama’s poll numbers are slipping only adds more fuel to Republican optimism, and that will strongly motivate Democrats to mount an even stiffer defense.

The Internet is still seen by TNS as more of an activist recruitment tool and fund-raising machine. TNS does not believe it is well-positioned yet to start siphoning significant political spending from television, which will remain the primary political advertising vehicle.

However, a strong television political spending season will create spillover to radio, especially in states with multiple contested races.

TNS says about a third of the $1B worth of 2009 spending went toward the health care issue.