Visitors take a photograph of a Hillaryclinton.com billboard before the first 2016 Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton campaign rally at Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island in New York, U.S., on Saturday, June 13, 2015.
Visitors take a photograph of a Hillaryclinton.com billboard before the first 2016 Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton campaign rally at Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island in New York, U.S., on Saturday, June 13, 2015.  Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Political Ads Grow Online, But TV Remains the Mainstay

Aug 18, 2015

Political campaigns will spend a lot more on online ads in 2016 than in years past, but it remains a fraction of the amount they will spend on TV.

According to a white paper from media consulting firm Borrell Associates, political candidates and special interests at the state and national level will spend more than $1 billion on online ads in 2016, a whopping 576 percent increase since 2012.

That puts it on par with cable TV advertising, which is expected to reach $1.1 billion, but far below the estimated $6 billion that will be spent on broadcast TV according to the report.

"Despite the allure of digital media, things like banner ads and search advertising don't do as good a job as television commercials," the report's authors note.

Political spending will vary by state, with Florida and California getting the most ad dollars. But the presidential election will also benefit some key swing states. Broken down by spending per eligible voter, Colorado and Virginia lead the way.

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