AdImpact projects that $8.9 billion will be shelled out to run TV, digital and radio ads in the 2022 races, which would be the highest ever for a midterm election cycle.
New data from AdImpact indicates that expenditures so far by campaigns, party committees and outside groups is pacing far ahead of previous cycles. Total spending through the first nine months of this year has hit $774 million, a 61% increase over the same point in 2019, during the 2020 election cycle, which included ad spending in the Democratic presidential nomination race. And the 2021 figures are a whopping 214% increase over the same point in 2017 – during the 2018 midterm election cycle.
Democratic campaigns, party committees and pro-Democratic outside groups, such as super PACs and their allied partisan advocacy organizations, have dished out $358 million to run ads, with their Republican counterparts spending $206 million. Nonpartisan issue advocacy groups have spent $210 million to date this year.
Democrats are defending their razor-thin majorities in the House of Representatives and Senate in next year’s contests. Republicans need a net gain of just one seat to win back the Senate majority they lost after getting swept in January’s twin Senate runoff elections in Georgia. And the GOP needs a five-seat net gain to regain the House majority the Democrats captured in the 2018 midterms. In addition to the congressional showdowns, 38 states are holding elections for governor – with two this November and the rest in 2022.
Pointing to the healthy fundraising so far this year by both Republican and Democratic national party committees and the House and Senate reelection committees, AdImpact notes that the large campaign cash hauls "will certainly help committees and candidates raise big funds to put into media campaigns.
And AdImpact notes that candidate fundraising is being "drive[n] in large part by celebrityesque candidates’ online fundraising prowess."
The 2020 election cycle smashed previous ad spending records. Total advertising spending over the two-year campaign cycle reached a record-shattering $8.48 billion, according to AdImpact. And another $500 million was shelled out to run ads in the ensuing two-monthlong campaign in Georgia’s twin Senate runoffs.