November 3, 2023

The 2024 election cycle is poised to witness an unprecedented surge in political ad spending, surpassing a staggering $10billion. AdImpact estimates that presidential campaigns and outside groups will allocate $2.7 billion for ads, with $2.1 billion for the Senate, $1.7 billion for the House, $361 million for gubernatorial elections, and $3.3 billion for other elections. This projection signifies a 13% increase from the $9 billion spent in 2020 and a significant rise from the $2.6 billion spent during the 2016 election cycle, reflecting the escalating costs of political campaigns.

Shifting Viewing Habits and Demographics

Changing American viewing habits and demographics are reshaping the advertising landscape for the upcoming election cycle. Traditional TV ad spending is anticipated to decrease slightly, while streaming television gains traction and Spanish-language ads are expected to increase by9% from the previous cycle. Digital ad spending saw a decline between 2020 and 2022 due to major platforms temporarily banning political ads amidst concerns about misinformation related to the 2020 election. AdImpact predicts a digital spending uptick in the 2024 election, although it won't reach the levels seen in the last presidential election.

Predictions for 2024 Spending

AdImpact's projections for the 2024 elections indicate significant shifts in campaign spending patterns. Anticipating a 27% surge in presidential primary spending from 2020, they foresee a 17% increase in general election presidential ad expenditure, totaling $2.1 billion. A noteworthy aspect is the concentration of over 75% of this spending in seven pivotal swing states, including Pennsylvania, Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Nevada, and Wisconsin. Interestingly, these states, except North Carolina, flipped from Trump to Biden in 2020 by slim margins. Surprisingly, Florida, a traditional battleground, is expected to witness reduced spending due to recent GOP successes. While presidential races see a boost, AdImpact predicts a 9% dip in Senate ad spending but an 8% increase in House races, attributed to a rise in spending per competitive race despite a decrease in their overall number.

Cate Bender, the author, is Project Coordinator of Marketing Keys

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November 3, 2023