Analyst: Political Ads on TV Stations Top $1 Billion

Television advertising up 26% in September

It doesn't take a pollster to see that political spending on local TV has already begun to accelerate as Election Day nears. By the end of September, political spending in local TV (expected to get more than 54 percent of all political ad spending) topped $1 billion to $1.15 billion, according to a Wells Fargo analysis of data from Kantar Media's Campaign Media Analysis Group.

Spending for September climbed 26 percent from August to $304.6 million and doubled the $141.9 million spent in July.

Adding in network TV and cable, total TV ad spend was $1.33 billion year-to-date through September.

Since half of political spending comes down in the last two weeks, the spending trend so far is on track to meet Wells Fargo's forecast of $2.8 billion in local TV and $3.37 billion in total TV.

More than 42 percent of the spending was for the presidential race. Another 36.9 percent was spent on congressional races, 17.7 percent for ballot initiatives, and 3.2 percent on local races.

Washington, D.C. is leading the pack in total political spending; followed by Las Vegas, Nev.; Cleveland-Akron, Ohio; Tampa-St. Petersburg-Sarasota, Fla.; and Denver, Co.