Evan Tracey says growing number of competitive races should push campaign money above earlier estimates.
Last April political advertising guru Evan Tracey told broadcasters at a TVB conference that campaign spending on TV would hit $1.4 billion this year.
This morning, he told many of those same broadcasters at another TVB conference that he had been too conservative in his earlier prediction. “I now think that’s the floor, not the ceiling,” he said.
If historical trends hold, he said, political spending will “blow by” that $1.4 billion mark.
Tracey’s bullish outlook warmed broadcasters struggling through an otherwise lean year. And it pushed TVB’s estimate for growth in total spot advertising for the year to 8.2%.
So far, according to Tracey, candidates for federal House and Senate races have spent $120 million on TV and candidates for various state offices have spent nearly $400 million. That comes on top of $264 million in issue advertising. And that’s just the beginning, according to Tracey, who said that 90% of TV money in federal campaigns is spent in the 60 days prior to the elections.
Tracey said he might not have been so bullish two months ago, but he said the number of competitive races is expanding. On the federal level, he said, there are 15 competitive Senate races and perhaps more the 40 competitive House races. “It’s the perfect storm.”