Broadcast TV Grabs Quarter-Billion in Political Ads in Toss-Up States

Democrats and Republicans combined have spent over a quarter of a billion dollars on local broadcast TV general election political advertising in 10 midterm election toss-up states, with the spending pretty evenly divided between the two parties.

According to a study, 2018 Midterms Political Ad Spend Map, from Matrix Solutions, Democrats have spent $133,026,657 (52% of the total) on local TV broadcast political ads in those states, while Republicans have spent $123,077,453 (48%) of the $256,104,110 total.

The spending was in Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia."Political ad spend at the local broadcast level is a key campaign tool in reaching constituents with voting power, especially in states with races deemed toss ups," the report says.

“Our data shows the value each candidate places in local broadcast as an ad channel in their campaign to win their state’s open Senate seat,” said Mark Gorman, CEO at Matrix Solutions. “Local TV is a key medium for politicians hoping to sway undecided voters who possess the ability to support their campaign and to overall encourage voter turnout on election day. Both Democratic and Republican senatorial candidates are counting on this election to secure their party’s influence in the Senate and a strong local broadcast footprint will bolster these efforts.”

Matrix Solutions, which provides ad analytics and intelligence, says it manages more than $13 billion in media ad revenue.

The ad spend totals cover general election spending starting in "the most comprehensive full month in which the race began" and through ads booked by Oct. 25 for spots airing through November.  

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.