At that level, it will also easily pass the 2020 Presidential record total of $9.0 billion. In recent history, these levels were unheard of for midterm election years. (The 2018 midterms totaled $3.96 billion).
Local TV station owners -- big beneficiaries of the every-other-year spike in political advertising -- are now licking their lips in anticipation.
But let's look further -- to the 2024 Presidential election season. All that could mean even higher results.
TV stations might have little to no room for all kinds of marketers -- from those high-priced automotive marketers to rising sports betting services, as well as regular pharmaceuticals or finance/insurance advertisers.
Imagine if Donald Trump makes another attempt to run again, with the history looking like this: Losing the popular vote by nearly 2.9 million in 2016 to Hillary Clinton, and then, in 2020, losing the popular vote by 7 million to Joe Biden. What if two years from now, he could lose by 10 million?
All this brings up advertising. Can the GOP do what it has virtually always done through the year -- raise more political ad commitments than their Democrat opponents?
Now think about "earned media." Facebook and Twitter still maintain permanent suspensions of Trump accounts due to his January 6 insurrections posts/activity. Recently, Facebook said to Politico that it won't speed up a decision on whether to reinstate his account.
That means he needs to find another way to post many more social missives. Think his Truth Social is going to be enough? What about big TV news coverage? The Fox News Channel seems to be cutting back on Trump coverage.
To overcome all of this there will need a lot of political messaging -- paid, earned media, or otherwise.
TV stations need to accommodate political advertising, per FCC requirements. The collateral damage is that high-priced automotive marketers, regular pharmaceuticals or finance/insurance advertisers and sports betting services, may get pushed aside.
No problem. Down to the wire -- in crunch time -- political big dollars seeking a needed share of voice will find happy and ever-hungry TV stations -- and TV news channels -- ready to accommodate.