The Political Ad Floodgates Are Open


Mailboxes are full of flyers, TV stations are full of mud-slingers and the phrase …’and I approve this message‘ can be heard on every radio station more than the station call letters. Primary elections are rolling across the country, PAC money that’s impossible to trace is being spent and the Presidential campaign rhetoric is picking up. Where does radio fit into all of this?

According to Media Monitors, both sides are firing with both barrels. Altogether, the top 50 political advertisers aired 49,614 spots between June 1 and July 31, 2020, compared to just 3,625 instances between April 1 and May 31, 2020. That’s an increase of 290% between April 1 and May 31 to June 1 and July 31.

Media Monitors CEO Philippe Generali this uptick in spending is exactly what he expected. “In the first wave of election season spots, we can see that all types – Presidential campaigns, Congressional candidates and advocacy and political action groups – are gearing up, beginning with radio. This will be a high-attention campaign season, and we expect political advertising to continue to grow to be a large share of the late summer and fall advertising inventory.”

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden leads the list. His team aired 7,599 radio spots between June 1 and July 31 – significantly more than any other campaign. It’s also far higher than the nine occurrences the candidate aired during April and May.

President Trump has not been as aggressive on the radio as Biden, although he does seem to be interviewed by everyone and anyone who asks lately, on the radio, TV and in podcasts. Trump’s presidential campaign aired just nine spots on radio between June 1 and July 31.

The American Postal Workers Union ranked second, airing 3,893 instances on radio. Its campaign, Save the Post Office, is urging the public to reach out to their representatives and ask them to support to finance the U.S. Post Office operations.

Meanwhile, conservative political action committee, One Nation, aired a total of 3,867 spots across four campaigns, enough to rank each individual campaign among the top 50. In June, the organization launched a multi-state summer advocacy blitz across television and radio in six swing states, including Arizona, Iowa, Maine, North Carolina, Colorado and Montana.

Here’s a list of the top 50 political spenders from Media Monitors.


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