To the chagrin of all TV reps Evan Tracey announced in September that political spending will reach $1 billion in 2009. While I have not seen any numbers to refute this claim, I have to believe we are well below the billion dollar mark. In 2008, spending was 2.5 billion, but this includes all Presidential, Congressional and Issue spending.
While the races in New Jersey and Virginia have been hotly contested, they have been more like a bump than a boom for TV stations. Sure Mayor Bloomberg has spent good deal of money, but the lack of opposition seems to be even curbing his spending. While political advertising is now a legitimate and growing category, spending in 2009 is not going to replace the auto industry. 2010 is another story… stay tuned.