Election Spending to Hit $8.3B, Says Borrell

Most campaign money still goes to traditional media

Political advertising is expected to reach $8.3 billion this year, according to a new report from Borrell Associates.

Borrell says that two thirds of that money will be spent between July 1 and Election Day and that the bulk continues to go towards traditional media, rather than digital outlets.

“Spending on online ads is definitely growing – and poised to explode in two years,” the report says. “But even at a forecast rate of a threefold increase between 2012 and 2016, digital media would still be less than $1 billion, accounting for less than 8% of all political advertising. Most of the activity, it seems, is by digital marketing managers working within the campaigns, managing social media and email communications directly with the electorate.”

Borrell says that candidates and political organizations will spend $37 per voter this year, up 9% from the last mid-term election. It expects spending to jump to $51 per voter in 2016, up 21% from the previous presidential election year in 2012.