Candidates spend more than $6.4 billion on ads, making the race one of the most expensive ever
The 2022 midterm elections are set to be the most expensive ever, as more than $6.4 billion is invested in TV, radio and digital ads for the U.S. House, the Senate, governors and local races, according to a nonpartisan ad tracker. AdImpact and campaign finance data.
Candidates and outside groups spent nearly $50 million on mid-term ads running on Facebook and Google alone in the past 30 days, according to data compiled by the companies.
The more than $6.4 billion in ad spend already exceeds the 2018 and 2020 election cycles, according to AdImpact, which estimates that overall advertising spending will reach $9.7 billion by Election Day in November.
The huge amount of spending on political ads throughout the 2022 election cycle reflects the bipartisan urgency to seize power in Washington and across the country. Democrats control the House and Senate, but only by narrow margins.
The Senate is split 50-50, with Democrats expected to rely on Vice President Kamala Harris for a deciding vote. Cook Political Report marks the Senate seats held by Sens. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev. and Ron Johnson, R-Wis. like tos ups. Democrats have a nine-seat majority in the House, with Cook’s policy report projecting 31 House seats between the two parties are up for grabs this cycle.
The Masto and Warnock campaigns have spent just over $4 million on TV ads aired since Sept. 5, according to recent data tracked by the Wesleyan Media Project. Johnson’s team and the Republican National Senate Committee spent nearly $1.3 million on TV ads, combined, over the same period, according to the study.
A separate study by the same group shows that federal up-and-down ballot races in those states have hit on key issues for voters, including the environment, health care, inflation and public safety.
Campaigns have put a ton of resources into digital ads over the past month. They spent nearly $46 million on Google ads in the past 30 days, according to search engine data.
The Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC aligned with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has spent $2.72 million since late August on Google ads attacking Democratic Senate candidates. The PAC’s allied nonprofit, One Nation, spent just over $2.3 million on ads. The Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC that backs House Republicans, spent $1.32 million over the past month on Google ads.
Democrats have taken the leap by spending millions on Google ads over the past four weeks, records show. The Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, a campaign arm of Senate Democrats, spent just over $1 million on Google ads during that time. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which acts as the House Democrats’ campaign arm, spent a nearly equal amount on Google ads.
Among Senate Democrats, Warnock’s campaign has spent the most on Google ads in the past 30 days, pumping more than $1 million into spots on the search platform.
Campaigns and outside groups spent more than $4 million on Facebook during the same period, according to data from the social media giant.
Americans for Prosperity Action, a super PAC funded in part by the huge conglomerate Koch Industries, has spent more than $810,000 on Facebook ads, with some spots supporting Republicans running for state seats. Koch Industries donated $3 million to the super PAC in August, according to a Federal Election Commission filing.
Warnock’s campaign spent nearly $735,000 on Facebook spots this month, with John Fetterman, a Democrat running for the Pennsylvania Senate seat against Dr Mehmet Oz spending $550,000 over the same period.