Political campaigns across the country spent more than $3 billion on local TV advertising in the contentious 2018 midterm elections, setting an all-time spending record, Steve Lanzano, president and CEO of the TV Advertising Bureau told the Orlando Sentinel. Those numbers are based on Kantar Media/CMAG’s latest reporting.
“There is no doubt that local broadcast TV delivers for political campaigns,” Lanzano said. “Candidates continue to derive tangible, winning results from local broadcast television. Tuesday’s dominant reliance on TV, over all other media platforms, demonstrates that voters rely on local broadcast TV to inform their voting decisions.”
Another analysis firm, Advertising Analytics, reported that spending on local broadcast TV increased more than 100 percent from 2014, the last midterm election cycle.
According to Advertising Analytics, the heaviest spending took place in Florida, where nearly $500 million was spent About $115 million of that went to the Florida Senate race between Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson and Republican Gov. Rick Scott. Scott has claimed victory but several Florida races, including the very close match-up between Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and Rick DeSantis, appear to be heading for recounts with many ballots still yet to be counted.
California was next, where campaigns spent more than $200 million on local elections, including such high-profile ones as incumbent Democrat Dianne Feinstein’s bid to remain a Senator, which she won, and Gavin Newsom’s successful gubernatorial effort.
More than $190 million was spent in Nevada, where Democrat Jacky Rosen unseated incumbent Republican Dean Heller with about $55 million being spent on local TV by those campaigns alone.
Politicians also spent $144 million each in Texas — where Democrat Beto O’Rourke mounted a strong bid against Republican incumbent and victor Ted Cruz — and in New York.
Other expensive races included:
— the Missouri Senate race: more than $63 million was spent on the race between Democrat incumbent Claire McCaskill and victor Republican Josh Hawley;
— the Arizona Senate race, amounting to nearly $48 million spent on the campaigns of Republican Martha McSally and Democrat Kyrsten Sinema, with votes still being counted;
—the Tennessee Senate race where nearly $38 million was spent on the battle between Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, who won, and Democrat Phil Bredesen.
READ MORE: TVNewscheck