As we move closer to the 2012 elections, the landscape for highly competitive areas of the country will become ever-clearer. And as Reid Wilson explains in National Journal, there are some places where overlapping races and intensive interest from well-heeled “independent” organizations will quickly create a seller’s market for paid media time.
Both parties agree there are about 13 presidential swing states, give or take. In 10 of those states, competitive Senate seats are also up for grabs; Indiana and North Carolina feature governor’s races; and in all 13 both parties will battle for at least one toss-up House seat–and as many as five, in the case of Pennsylvania.
That means in key markets as many as two dozen organizations will be vying for air time in the frenzied run-up to next year’s elections. Among candidates, party committees, and outside organizations, the extremely limited television inventory in these markets will go fast.
Wilson goes on to highlight Las Vegas, Orlando, Charlotte, Washington (DC) and Columbus (OH) as markets where media budgets will be blown and voters will be treated to saturation advertising for multiple candidates (and in multiple states, for viewers in Washington) and causes.
An accompanying series of graphs shows that in 2010, an astonishing 24,693 political ads were shown on television in the Columbus media market, representing nearly a quarter of all TV advertising. Orlando and Las Vegas were nearly as saturated. And 2012 could be a lot crazier. Brace yourselves, viewers.