Kantar: Big Ad Spend From One Presidential Candidate

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From September 1 through Election Day, Kantar has tracked $932 million in presidential campaign ads across TV and radio, including future bookings.


This is more than 60% of all ad spend supporting the presidential race since January 2019.

The majority of spend since September 1 has been from ads backing one presidential candidate.

That would be the Democratic candidate for U.S. President, Joe Biden.

His campaign has contributed $581 million, or 62%, of all ad dollars associated with presidential campaign advertisements.

Ads backing President Trump during this time total $352 million, Kantar says.

SUNSHINE STATE AD MONSOON 

As an infamous battleground state, money has been pouring into Florida, with the state being home to three of the top five markets.

Top Markets for Presidential Advertising
Sept. 1 – Nov 3, 2020

Rank Market Spend (Millions)
1 Orlando $51.2
2 Phoenix $50.6
3 Miami-Fort Lauderdale $47.9
4 Tampa-St. Petersburg $46.1
5 Philadelphia $45.6

Source: Kantar

“It’s not unusual to see action in the I-4 corridor, which includes Orlando and Tampa, as that is where most of the undecided votes in Florida tend to be concentrated,” Kantar notes.

In this election cycle, however, more than $24 million has been spent in Florida on Spanish-language broadcast television from January 2019 through Election Day 2020. This is being used to reach the large Puerto Rican, Cuban, Colombian and Dominican populations in the state. Orlando has seen nearly $5 million spent on Spanish-language broadcast TV during this time, compared to less than $1 million during the entire 2016 presidential election cycle. Many ads this term have been focused on Puerto Rican immigrants, many of whom relocated to Central Florida following Hurricane Maria in 2017.

Miami has topped $15 million in Spanish-language network advertising after seeing only $3 million spent throughout the 2016 cycle. Though the Biden campaign has been outspending the Trump campaign to reach this demographic, President Trump recently extended relief to Puerto Rico and the island’s Republican Governor, Wanda Vázquez Garced, recently endorsed him.

“While we typically see a lot of political activity in Orlando and Tampa, it is uncommon for Miami to land at the top in presidential years,” Kantar notes.

Recent polls have shown Biden ahead in South Florida. However, his lead is short of then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s 30-point victory there in 2016, Kantar points out.

ARIZONA SURPRISE

“It’s a first for Phoenix to rank as a top market for presidential ad spending, but as 2020 is full of surprises, this Top 20 market is currently number two for expenditures just behind Orlando with over $50 million in spend,” Kantar says.

Once a heavily leaning Republican state, Arizona has become the “new Nevada” in that it’s a key swing state with more Purple tendencies and many transplants relocating to the area, as well as a heavily Democratic-leaning Hispanic population that had a sizeable voter turnout in 2018. Most voters in Arizona are in Maricopa County.

Philadelphia rounds out the top five with nearly $46 million of expenditures from September 1 through Election Day. As the biggest metropolitan area in Pennsylvania, Philadelphia and its suburbs are a crucial market that can determine the outcome for the state and be a tipping point for candidates. Biden and his supporters have spent double than Republican advertisers during this time, an advantage which is notable given Trump won the state by less than one percentage point in 2016. But, being outspent on TV advertising is nothing new to the Trump campaign.