That’s the forecast of consultant Evan Tracey at yesterday’s TVB conference in New York. Spending this year could beat 2004’s record due to volume of races and revised contribution limits.
Political ad spending will exceed $1 billion this year and could top the 2004 record of $1.7 billion record, according to political advertising consultant Evan Tracey.
Tracey, COO of the Campaign Media Analysis Group of TNS Media Intelligence, discussed his forecast yesterday at the TVB conference in New York City. The forecast should cheer broadcasters who have been struggling in an otherwise weak national spot advertising market.
According to Tracey, his forecast is based on the sheer number of political races and loosened campaign contributions limits. Nearly half of the gubernatorial races, 40% of the Senate races and 50 or 60 House races will be competitive, he said. That means heavy spending.
TV stations have collected about $160 million in political dollars in the first quarter, Tracey said. Nearly $100 million came from issue advertising on such topics as telecommunications reform, tort reform and health care. The balance came from primary races in Texas, New York, California, Illinois, Tennessee, Ohio, Vermont and Rhode Island.
Historically, Tracey said, 90% of the spending in Senate races and 80% of the spending in House races are committed in the last 60 days of a campaign—that is, the third and fourth quarters.
Despite the growth of new media platforms, Tracey said, local TV remains the “weapon of choice” for candidates. In 2004, only 9% of political dollars strayed elsewhere, according to TNS Media Intelligence.