IPDI’s Julie Barko Germany dropped a bit of a bomb into a sun-drenched over-coffee conversation a few minutes ago: the folks at the Institute are operating under the assumption that candidates at all levels will raise and spend between $12 billion and $15 billion total in the 2008 U.S. election cycle, up from $4-5 billion in the 2004 elections. Considering how much money the presidential candidates have raised in the first quarter of this year alone, numbers this large shouldn’t be surprising — though I can’t help but be a little shocked (that’s a lot of money).
So, how to spend the cash? TV will get the bulk of it, since it’s still the medium of choice for reaching uncommitted voters, but already in ’04, some major media markets were essentially saturated with campaign ads — there wasn’t room for more commercials even if campaigns had been able to buy them. Maybe a little of the sugar will land in the Internet this time around? Let’s hope — baby needs a new pair of shoes, after all. And political campaigns so far have lagged behind commercial advertisers in the percentage of their outreach budgets spent online. More on that later.