$9.7B in political ad spending projected in 2022 cycle

Voters are divided by party affiliation at tables prior to voting.
AP Photo/Jessica Hill
A voter checks in at Suffield Middle School on primary election day, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022, in Suffield, Conn. Suffield is one of several small towns in Connecticut where control was flipped from Democrats to Republicans in 2021 municipal races.

Spending on political advertising is projected to reach almost $10 billion ahead of the 2022 midterms, doubling the spending from the 2018 midterm cycle and even outpacing the 2020 elections, a report from AdImpact found.

“An increasingly polarized electorate and easily accessible online fundraising tools have been major factors propelling this surge in spending,” the report from AdImpact read. “It no longer takes a presidential ticket at the top of the ballot to push a cycle near the $10 billion threshold.”

The Wall Street Journal first reported the data.

Down-ballot and issue spending in particular are already pacing ahead of 2020, the company said. One California ballot issue, Mobile Sports Betting and Revenue for Homelessness, has already seen $113M in ads placed for this election cycle, the report said.

In July, The Democratic Attorneys General Association launched a five-figure digital ad buy attacking Republican attorneys general candidates in key states over their stances on abortion, The Hill previously reported.

Earlier this summer, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in a Michigan GOP primary targeting Rep. Peter Meijer — who is one of just 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Trump for his role in inciting the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol — in an effort to boost his challenger.

AdImpact said around $5 billion worth of political ads have already run or are slated to run between now and November, the amount spent between now and election day will double.

The company estimated nearly $4.3 billion will be shelled out in House and Senate races, while $2.4 billion will go to statewide campaigns for governor, the Journal noted.

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