Coronavirus Cramps Campaign Spending

The drastic effects of COVID-19 on advertising spend also appear to be impacting political campaigns.

In a sharp departure from the last presidential election cycle, advertising spending by Senate campaigns dropped by more than half from Q1 to Q2.

The opposite happened in 2016, when Senate campaign spending increased to $31.5 million in Q2 from $19.5 million in Q1.

A similar trend is occurring in the race for president, where the Biden campaign’s advertising decreased from $35 million in Q1 to $9M in Q2.

After spending over $25 million on ads in the first three months of the year, second quarter ad spending among Senate campaigns dropped over 50% to just under $12 million.

On social platforms like Facebook the contrast is even more drastic, where the push to boycott advertising on the platform has resulted in a 64% decrease in Senate campaign advertising spend from Q1 to Q2.

In 2016, spending on ads by campaigns increased dramatically to $102 million in Q3 and $122 million in Q4.

If current trends continue, we may see campaign spending continue to drop further.