Political ad spending suggests Arizona could be most important state in 2024 election

Sep 20, 2023, 10:30 AM | Updated: 10:36 am

Stock image of a polling place. Arizonans can expect to see and hear an onslaught of political ads ...

Arizonans can expect to see and hear an onslaught of political ads leading up to the 2024 election. (Pexels Photo)

(Pexels Photo)

PHOENIX – Money definitely talks in politics, and it’s strongly suggesting that Arizona could be the nation’s most important state in next year’s election.

With the White House and a key Senate seat on the battleground state’s ballot, AdImpact is projecting a whopping $821 million in broadcast political ad spending in Arizona for the 2023-24 election cycle.

“Arizona is really going to have a thumb on the pulse, or thumb on the power, essentially, of who ultimately is going to lead, probably, the country or the U.S. Senate,” Mike Noble, founder of Phoenix-based research firm Noble Predictive Insights, told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News on Wednesday.

Why is political ad spending soaring in Arizona?

Arizona political ad spending over the next year-plus is expected be about $300 million higher than in the 2022 election cycle, a clear sign of the state’s importance now that it has turned from deeply red to solidly purple.

After decades of Republican dominance, Democrats have won the state’s last three U.S. Senate elections (Kyrsten Sinema in 2018 and Mark Kelly in 2020 and 2022) and the most recent presidential election (Joe Biden in 2020).

Sinema’s seat is on the line next year in what could be a costly three-way race after she became an independent last year, and Biden is up for reelection.

Nationwide political ad spending expected to set record

AdImpact is projecting a record $10.2 billion in political ad spending nationwide for the 2023-24 election cycle, including $2.1 billion on the presidential race.

Presidential spending will be concentrated on seven battleground states: Arizona, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan and North Carolina, Nevada and Wisconsin. Biden won all of them except North Carolina in 2020.

Arizonans should brace for onslaught of political ads

AdImpact’s projection for Arizona is second only to California ($1.2 billion), which traditionally sees hundreds of millions in spending for ballot propositions.

Noble said Arizona will actually get more commercials than its western neighbor because airtime is more expensive in California.

“For political junkies, they may be loving that portion, but people that don’t necessarily love politics, they’re going to be inundated with ads in the next 15 or so months,” he said.

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Political ad spending suggests Arizona could be most important state in 2024 election