Here's How Presidential Campaign Ad Spending Adds Up, Post-Bush

The Ad Age Presidential Campaign Ad Scorecard, Week 2

By Published on .

The Ad Age Presidential Campaign Ad Scorecard is sponsored by The Trade Desk

Editor's note: Welcome to the second installment of the 2016 Presidential Campaign Ad Scorecard, a comprehensive view of spending across broadcast, cable and satellite TV as well as radio. The charts you see below represent a collaboration between Ad Age's Datacenter and Kantar Media's Campaign Media Analysis Group (CMAG). A lot has changed since our first installment, just a week ago. Some context from Ad Age's Simon Dumenco follows. --Ken Wheaton

• A day after the publication of our first Presidential Campaign Ad Scorecard, Jeb Bush dropped out of the race. Ad Age Datacenter's Kevin Brown and Catherine Wolf had detected early indications of cancellations of TV ad buys by the Bush campaign in Kantar Media's CMAG data, which could have represented strategy rather than desperaton (in December, for instance, the Bush campaign pulled TV ads to shift money to its Iowa ground force, as USA Today reported at the time). Of course, less than 24 hours later it became clear that it was even worse than desperation.

More notes below the charts...

Presidential Campaign Ad Scorecard
Advertising spending on broadcast, cable and satellite TV, and radio.
Presidential Campaigns Ad Spend by Candidate Ad Spend by PACs* Total PACs and advocacy groups*
1 Jeb Bush $4,620,417 $75,602,270
Right to Rise USA
2 Marco Rubio $17,307,755 $37,312,902
Conservative Solutions PAC; Conservative Solutions Project; Baby Got PAC
3 Hillary Clinton $37,079,278 $1,176,520
Priorities USA Action; NARAL
4 Bernie Sanders $34,788,989 $11,471
Friends of the Earth Action
5 Ted Cruz $10,577,328 $12,097,665
Keep the Promise I, III; Stand for Truth PAC; Courageous Conservatives PAC; Lone Star Committee
6 Chris Christie $771,006 $17,708,961
America Leads
7 John Kasich $1,208,041 $12,885,371
New Day for America; New Day Independent Media Committee; American Future Fund
8 Donald Trump $11,510,914 $24,780
Florida For Trump, TrumPAC
9 Ben Carson $5,356,382 $410,603
The 2016 Committee; Black America's PAC Action Fund; Our Children's Future
10 Nextgen Climate Action Committee $4,446,119
Nextgen Climate Action Committee
All other: $30,729,493. Total: $315,626,265.

Source: Ad Age analysis of data from Kantar Media's CMAG.
Spending and ad buys (future buys subject to change) for president campaigns from April 5, 2015, through March 26, 2016, as of Feb. 26, 2016.
Pay structures differ for candidates and PACs. Candidates pay the lowest unit rate. PACs pay whatever the market will bear.
*Includes political action committees and advocacy groups.

Spending by date by candidate (top 5 spenders)
Click and drag in the plot area to zoom in

• Jeb Bush remains in our charts not only because they offer a historical view of spending starting on April 5, 2015, but because the Kantar CMAG data tracks advance buys through March 26, 2016 (as recorded through today).

• Jeb Bush had such massive PAC backing for his campaign -- and his campaign itself spent so much -- that he'll likely remain No. 1 in our ranking for quite some time, even though he's dropped out of the race. No. 2 Marco Rubio has to spend another $25 million just to catch up to Mr. Bush's TV/radio ad spending during his ill-fated bid.

• Chris Christie -- who earlier today endorsed Donald Trump -- has dropped out of our top 5.

• Ted Cruz has entered our top 5.

• Last time, Bernie Sanders had a slight lead on Hillary Clinton in ad spending ($32.3 vs. $32.1 million). This time Mrs. Clinton has taken the lead.

• Keep in mind that these charts, which were designed by Ad Age Digital Content Producer Chen Wu, are interactive. Click on the arrows in the first chart to sort and resort. And hover over the second chart to get drill-down data. You can also select and deselect individual candidates (by clicking on the color block next to their names) in that second chart to include or exclude them from view.

Most Popular
In this article: