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Presidential TV Ad Spending May Break Records, Wesleyan Media Project Says

Elise Amendola
Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg speaks to workers during a tour of the WH Bagshaw Company, a pin and precision component manufacturer, in Nashua, N.H., in January.

Michael Bloomberg is prepared to spend $31 million on TV ads in 32 states as he announces his entry into the 2020 race for president. That means the 2020 presidential contest might set a record for the most massive spending on television ads.

Michael Frantz with the Wesleyan Media Project says their latest analysis finds that TV ad volume in the race for president is already way up over where it was four years ago. And outside interest groups and political action committees are largely absent.

“Once this race starts to take shape, you’ll see more outside groups get involved. In the meantime, we’ve seen tons of TV ads, lots of digital ads, and they are dominated by the candidates.”

Prior to Bloomberg’s anticipated $31 million ad buy, the largest single ad buy was then-President Barack Obama’s $30 million one-week ad buy in 2012. The Wesleyan Media Project finds that all the other candidates in the race, including President Donald Trump, have spent $20.5 million on TV ads since October 20.