The crystal ball used by Marci Ryvicker and her crew at Wachovia Capital Markets seems to be tuned to the same key as other analysts who see a four and a half billion smackaroonies headed for the 2008 political wars. An incumbent-free, high participation presidential election, another hotly contested battle for Congress and newly unleashed watchdog issue ad cash all figure to enrich the pot.
Local television is expected to be the major beneficiary, knocking down 2.7B. That still leaves plenty for other media, and direct mail, internet and radio outlets are all expected to benefit. Radio, which took in 175M in the 2004 presidential year, is expected to add a cool 100M to 275M this time around.
Wachovia expects 18 states to achieve battleground status in the presidential election. It lists nine states with potentially hot senate races, nine with potentially hot House races, and three possibly contentious gubernatorial races. (Some states figure on more than one list.) RBR will shine a spotlight on various elements of the upcoming campaign season as the week progresses.