With less than a week to go before election day, the campaigns and PACs have opened the political fire hose even wider. So far this year through Oct. 21, more than $1.9 billion was spent on local TV, a 14.2 percent increase from the previous week, per a Wells Fargo analysis of TVB data based on Kantar Media's Campaign Media Analysis Group. Adding in network and national spots, that total jumps to $2.11 billion.
No surprise, October will be the biggest month for spending. More than $688 million was spent through Oct. 21, tracking more than 80 percent above the $381.3 million spent in September, 185 percent higher than August and 384 percent higher than July.
Closer to the election, congressional, Senate and state races join the advertising frenzy, contributing 40.8 percent of the total spending, followed by the presidential race at 35.3 percent, ballot initiatives at 20.4 percent and local races at 3.5 percent.
Although the presidential race has expanded to Pennsylvania, Michigan and Minnesota, there's been very little change in the markets attracting the biggest dollars headed up by Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Cleveland-Akron, Ohio, Las Vegas, and Tampa-St. Petersburg-Sarasota, Fla.
Wells Fargo estimates total TV political spending will reach nearly $3.4 billion, with local TV raking in $2.8 billion. SNL Kagan estimates a slightly lower take for local TV of $2.6 billion.