Commentary

Working Vs. Non-Working Presidential Campaign Dollars

Six months ahead of the election, the presidential campaign is a tale of two media budgets. Legal ones, too.

According to data I received this week from ad tracking platform AdImpact, the Biden Harris campaign -- and various pro-Biden Harris groups supporting it -- have amassed a media war chest of $133 million in buys yet to be allocated.

By comparison, the Trump (TBD) campaign has booked only $2.6 million in media buys.

Fundraising differentials aside, part of the disparity may be attributed to other uses of campaign funds -- namely legal ones.

According to estimates compiled by the Brennan Center for Justice, Tump has used more than $100 million of his campaign funds to pay legal bills, most of which has come from political action committees supporting his bid.

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Whatever the reasoning, that gives Biden Harris a $130.4 million advantage in media buys booked through May 1.

Of course, it's possible Trump could make up for the media deficit with future buys funded by donors, PACs, his own pocketbook, and maybe even some very rich person he picks to be on his ticket.

That said, it's worth noting that at the same point in the 2020 campaign, AdImpact estimates Biden and Trump were virtually even in booked media buys: $69.3 million vs. $66.9 million, respectively.

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