With the presidential election still a year away, candidates have already spent $163 million on campaign ads, according to a new report from CMAG.
A crowed field of Republicans have spent or have committed to spending $141 million. With Bernie Sanders reaching for his wallet while challenging front-runner Hillary Clinton, Democratic spending is $22 million.
Campaign spots are already dominating the air on key stations in Iowa and New Hampshire. Kantar Media says the percentage of ads on stations in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids—KCCI-TV, WOI-TV, WHO-TV and KWWL-TV—climbed to 7%. On WMUR-TV in Manchester, the share of campaign ads had climbed to 18% during the week of Nov. 9 from 12% the prior week.
Republicans have been spending more on cable than Democrats, a preference CMAG chalks up to the Fox effect. But in October, Democrats put 29% of their spending on cable, compared to 24% for the Republicans. The Democratic debate on CNN during the month might have played a role.
January is shaping up to be the biggest month for Republicans buying satellite, particularly the addressable-by-household ad platform offered jointly by Dish and DirecTV. February also promises to be healthy, CMAG says. On the Democratic side, only a little satellite TV advertising was bought in September, October and November, with nothing booked beyond this month.