Political advertising is set to break a new record in 2018, driven by an explosion in digital ads, according to a new report.
For the first time ever, digital advertising on websites and mobile devices will go over $1.8 billion as Senate, House and local races turn to cheaper internet-based outreach and advocacy campaigns.
The report from Borrell Associates put the total expected expenditures at $8.5 billion, a record for a non-presidential year.
That is a one year, 73 percent jump over what Borrell estimates was spent on political ads in 2017, $4.9 billion. It 2.5 percent higher over what was spent in the last midterm election, 2014.
“We’re facing an important year in 2018 because many will consider it a referendum on what happened in 2016,” said report author Kip Cassino, adding, “PAC money has swelled up considerably in advance of this, and it’s only the beginning of what is likely to be a never-ending campaign of political marketing in both odd-numbered years and even-numbered years.”