Political spending during the month of August was 77% higher than it was in July and the total spending on local television for the 2012 election cycle has topped $800M. Meanwhile, the amount political advertisers still have to spend is measured in the billions of dollars.
The news comes from Wells Fargo analyst Marci Ryvicker. She notes that as good as the category has been thus far, the season is really just getting started. Coming soon – lowest unit rate requirements and the inventory squeeze that will tend to chase traditional advertisers off the airwaves.
The total spent to date – $807.9M on local television alone – includes results through 8/26/12 built on a 77% surge in spending when comparing August results to July results. Ryvicker says that better-than-expected Q2 spending has her company raising its total 2012 spending estimate from $4.9B to $5.2B. The amount expected to be headed for television (local, network and cable combined) has also been ramped up from $3.19B to $3.37B.
Obama and Romney (along with earlier Republican primary contestants) have thus far led the advertising charge. The presidential race has accounted for 45.7% of spending, with 33% coming from congressional candidates, 17.5% on ballot issues and 3.8% on local campaigns.
Fund-raising stands at $3.8B, but according to Ryvicker, reporting on incoming campaign funds lags behind reporting on that which has been spent, and as such that number is expected to rise.
Hot markets for total spending include Cleveland, Washington DC, Tampa, Las Vegas and Orlando. As a percentage of total market spending, they are Sioux City IA, Wausau WI, La Crosse WI, Davenport IA and Great Falls MT.
The same five markets — Cleveland, Washington DC, Tampa, Las Vegas and Orlando – are still realizing the fastest growth in total spending. As a percentage of total market revenue, the hot spots are Sioux City IA, Davenport IA, Las Vegas, Butte-Bozeman MT and Reno NV.