Political candidates are devoting more money than ever to local cable TV in an effort to target voters more precisely, according to a story in the Wall Street Journal.
Tight primaries and early spending on House, Senate and gubernatorial races has pushed spending by candidates up 45% from the same point in 2004, according to a page one story, written by Amy Schatz, in today’s Wall Street Journal. Figures from TNS/Media Intelligence’s Campaign Media Analysis Group show that when issue advertising and ballot initiatives spending are included, political outlays as of the year’s mid-point have topped $700 million.
TNS expects 85% of this year’s total political windfall to go to local TV stations, but cable operators are tracking well ahead of expectations, the story says. Spot cable rep firm National Cable Communications expects $200 million in political spending to go to local and national cable this year. Ed Dunbar, vice president of corporate integration at Comcast Spotlight, says in the story that his unit is tracking 70% ahead of where they were in 2004 in political spending this year.
Industry executives say the genesis of the trend toward cable lies with President Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign, which deftly used cable networks to target key constituent groups.