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Report: Political advertising to hit record $16.5 billion in 2015-2016

Political advertising is forecast to hit a record $16.5 in the two-year Presidential election cycle, according to a new report from Borrell Associates. Half of the spending will go to local elections, including governor races, ballot initiatives, state and city races.

In 2016 alone, candidates will spend a record $11.4 billion, 20 percent more than the 2012 election.

While there’s plenty of hype that the 2016 races will be fought in digital media, social media and other digital platforms will only break $1 billion, only 9.5 percent of the total spending. That’s far short of the 30 to 40 percent that other advertising categories (like packaged goods) allocate to digital platforms.

Like the prior election, the biggest states will see the biggest spending. California media can expect $1.2 billion in political spending and Texas, nearly $900 million. Swing states will get a disproportionate share. Virginia is forecast to get almost $500 million, Florida $800 million, and Colorado nearly $300 million.