The race for the White House has not even hit full steam yet and the amount of money spent on television ads has already hit $87 million between President Barack Obama and republican candidate Mitt Romney. This total has been spent in just a few of the battleground states for the presidency. At this point in the campaign, the amount of money spent by the two candidates is the largest amount of money spent in the history of the presidential election. The spending has been caused by a close race, a large number of independent groups with deep pockets and the goal of both candidates to create the debate prior to the summer months, which is when voters tend to lose interest.
“The presidential race has been surprising to us — the amount of it and the early entry,” said Mike Lake. Lake is the sales director for KCRG-TV. KCRG-TV is in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. “But this is just the tip of the iceberg.”
The metro area of Cedar Rapids boasts 260,000 viewers, whom have already been subjected to roughly 330 advertisements this early in the campaign. This number was estimated by the media firm known as Strategic America. Since the second half of April, the state of Iowa has already seen presidential campaign spending on advertising hit $6 million. For the entire nation, four of the metropolitan areas in Iowa rank in the top 20 for campaign advertising spending.
The presidential campaign does not consist solely of television advertisements. Obama and Romney will have their campaigns produce advertisements through direct mail, field operations and digital marketing. The advertising market has become crowded this year because of the explosion of super political action committees, which is a result of three federal court decisions. The trio of court decisions has allowed corporations and wealthy individuals to spend as much as they want on political ads of their own choosing.
Even with the technology available today, the amount of money spent on television advertising proves that TV ads are still a very important medium for the candidates, because viewers do not have to watch TV live with the DVR and Tivo. The candidates are airing the majority of their commercials in just nine states, which is a hint as to what states the candidates believe will help win the election in November. The nine states viewing these commercials now include Florida, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Nevada and New Hampshire. A candidate needs 270 electoral votes to win the White House and these nine states combined provide 120 votes.
“There hasn’t been a gentle ramp-up this year — it’s gone from zero to 60 very quickly,” said Ken Goldstein. Goldstein is from Kantar-Campaign Media Analysis Group. The company tracks spending for politicians.Political Ad Spending for Presidency Already Reaches High by Harrison Barnes