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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaking at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, February 23, 2017. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

Arizona Will Replace Florida as 2024’s Prime Swing State

Election spending likely to top $10B this cycle

By Steve Kirwan, September 19, 2023 9:25 am

Last Tuesday, AdImpact, one of the nation’s most-watched ad tracking services, released its initial 2024 political ad spend predictions. Anticipated spending is set to outpace 2019-2020 by 13%, with an estimated $10.2B across all media, including broadcast, cable, radio, satellite, digital, and CTV.

Spending from January through August is already setting records at $652M, a staggering 75% increase over 2019. This includes over $100M in early advertising by Republican presidential primary candidates, including President Trump’s preemptive early advertising against Florida Gov. Ron Desantis.

Presidential spending will likely top $2.7B as the Democrats and Republicans jockey for control. The final tally could ramp dramatically if West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, prior NY presidential and mayoral candidate Andrew Yang, or others make significant alternative party bids.

Razor-thin margins in the Senate and House are also driving estimates at $2.1B and $1.7B, respectively. Although gubernatorial spending is likely to dip compared to 2021-2022 due to significantly fewer races (just 14 this round), the remaining down-ballot spend limits will skyrocket, with estimates in the $3.3B range.

California leads the state-by-state analysis with a projected $1.2B due in part to Dianne Feinstein’s likely-to-be-vacated Senate seat and California having the greatest number of competitive House races. After the Democrats’ narrow loss of the House due to unexpected Republican pickups in California and New York, spending will be fierce.

Arizona sits squarely in second place at $821M. With Florida now considered a solid Republican hold and Biden having won Arizona by just 11,000 votes, Arizona becomes the most hotly contested Presidential swing state. The same is true for ex-Democrat Kyrsten Sinema’s Senate seat. Democrat Rep. Ruben Gallego is set to challenge the embattled Independent, along with an undetermined Republican. With Senate control hanging in the balance, Arizona Senate spending will likely top the previous record of $100M set in Mark Kelly’s 2022 win over Martha McSally.

The report lists Pennsylvania in third place at $725M, followed by Michigan ($659M) and Nevada ($576M).

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