Political spending continues to mushroom


Political AdvertisingIn just about two weeks, local television political advertising for the 2012 cycle grew by 15.9%, and total broadcast TV spending grew 13.6%. Another $130M or so and the 2012 total will hit the billion mark, with plenty more cash on hand where that came from, according to the latest survey from Wells Fargo analyst Marci Ryvicker.

The local total increased to $672M, and the total, which also counts national spot and network spending, hit $869.6M. Fundraising is now reported to be $3.8B.

The presidential campaigns and their surrogates have been among the lead spenders of late, although the biggest recent increase in terms of percentage came from the Senate, up 23% during the preceding two weeks. Of the $672M spent on local TV, Obama and Romney account for 43.2% of the total. 32.6% has come from congressional candidates, 19.8% was spent on ballot issues, and 4.4% has come from local races.

PACs, unleashed by the Supreme Court, have the largest warchests. Here is how the $3.8B is currently divvied up:
$1.017B: PACs
$885M: political parties
$785M: House candidates
$690M: presidential candidates
$456M: Senate candidates

The top five markets in straight spending so far are Cleveland, Tampa, Washington DC, Las Vegas, and L.A. Measuring political spending as a percentage of total market revenue, the top five are: Wausau WI, Sioux City IA, La-Crosse WI, Zanesville OH, and Davenport IA.

The top five exhibiting the greatest amount of change in the most recent reporting period in terms of absolute dollars are Washington, D.C., Las Vegas, Tampa, Cleveland, and Denver. In terms of percentage of total market revenue, they are Springfield MA, Reno NV, Davenport IA, Grand Junction CO, and Las Vegas NV.