US 2020 political ad spending could hit $6.9B amid uptick in digital buys: Forecast

Bloomberg spends lavishly on Super Tuesday ads

FOX Business’ Jackie DeAngelis breaks down presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg’s ad spending during his 2020 campaign.

As the 2020 campaign for the presidency heats up, candidates have already spent big on political advertisements – with more purchases likely on the way.

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A new forecast from eMarketer predicts total political ad spending for 2019 and 2020 will reach $6.89 billion – comprised largely of television ad purchases, which are expected to make up 66 percent of those ads.

“Mass-reach national campaigns are still important for political advertisers — especially presidential candidates — and TV will still be at the core of campaigns this year,” eMarketer principal analyst Nicole Perrin said in a statement. “But political advertisers aren’t forgetting that a third of US households do not get traditional pay TV services, and they are looking to connected TV to extend their reach to those voters.”

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In order to reach those voters who may not be affected by television ads, digital spending is also on the rise. According to the publication, digital ads will account for just shy of 20 percent of all ad spending in 2019-2020 – or $1.34 billion. That would mark the first time U.S. digital political ad spending crossed the $1 billion threshold.

In 2015-2016, digital ads comprised just 10.5 percent of political ad spending.

The increase was attributed to the fact that there are a large number of candidates vying for the Democratic Party’s nomination – and hefty spending by two billionaire candidates, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and former hedge fund manager Tom Steyer.

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“Between those deep pockets and Democratic candidates’ need to spend money to get themselves on debate stages last fall, we’re already on track for a record season,” Perrin said.

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While no conclusive results have been drawn yet from the Iowa caucus, it was Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders who was declared the winner of the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday night – trailed closely by former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg. The two also appear to be vying for the top spot in Iowa, as well.

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