Looking at political ad spending so far this year


Democrat and RepublicanHow much money has been spent so far on TV ads for this year’s elections? How much is being raised by the campaigns and PACs? And how does this compare to past election years? Click and read on for the answers.

Wells Fargo Securities analyst Marci Ryvicker has been keeping a close eye on political spending. Through April 15th she calculates that political advertising on TV has totaled $181.4 million. The biggest share, 44%, was from advertising related to the presidential campaign, with 31% for ballot issues. That leaves 25% for everything else.

How does that compare to past election years?

“At this point, it is too early to extrapolate what these dollars could mean for full year political ad spend,” Ryvicker wrote in an update for clients. “Using 2008 data, we get $2.3B, which is below our $2.7 billion estimate; using 2010 data, we get $2.9 billion, which is above.”

The analyst noted that fundraising through February was around 20% below past cycles, but that reversed in March, with a 12% increase. That corresponds, she noted, with a sequential pickup in political ad spending in the second week of April. After all, politicians have to have money before they can spend it on television ads.

Of the companies she tracks, Ryvicker points to Sinclair Broadcast Group as still having the most exposure to “where the money is” so far in 2012.