The next few months are the months radio is expected to see its biggest surge in political ad spending. Media Monitors is reporting that, in the 85 major markets it surveys, Libertarian party candidate Gary Johnson is running more spots on radio than Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton or Republican candidate Donald Trump.
From August 26 to September 4, 2016, Gary Johnson For President aired 9,398 radio spots, which was more than six times the nearest candidate. That next candidate is actually a Super PAC Liberty Action Group, which ran 1,495 spots for Donald Trump. The “Against” spots that appeared on radio between August 26 and September 4, 2016, were purchased by a small organization, People For The American Way, which spends most of its time and money on lobbying for the reform of Super PACs and campaign finance laws. They ran only seven spots.
In past Presidential races, radio would also see spillover revenue from Television when so much money was being spent on that medium and candidates were having trouble getting on TV. MediaPost reports today that political advertising on local TV is now estimated to be under $3 billion in 2016, much lower than early projections. Brian Wieser, senior research analyst for Pivotal Research Group, is quoted in the mediaPost article saying, “If we assume that spending might slow to end up 20% to 30% over 2014 levels — or around 10% over 2012 levels — total spending would end up under $3 billion on a full-year basis.”
Earlier projections estimated that overall political spending for local TV stations would be as much as 20% higher this year over 2012 levels, and 40% more than 2014.