This year’s national and local elections are generating record advertising spending, including online, according to eMarketer, which estimates that online spend from political campaigns and advocacy groups will reach $50 million this year.
Still, just 1-2% of political ad budgets will be spent online, it said. Television, on the other hand, is already the big winner in this presidential election, with the candidates alone forecast to spend $800 million on TV alone.
“Many voters are checking out candidates online, and 42% of US adults said they get political information from the internet,” said Lisa Phillips, senior analyst and author of the report, “Politics ’08 Online: Push Meets Pull.”
But the political online ad spending does not match the time so many voters spend on the internet. “Over the course of the year, less than 2% of political ad budgets will be spent online,” Phillips is quoted as saying. “That pales in comparison to the 50% to 80% of the budgets that will be spent on broadcast TV advertising.”
“The Internet is pulling voters into conversation and interaction with candidates and issues in ways that barely existed in the last presidential election, a mere three-and-a-half years ago,” Phillips said.
Yahoo estimates there are 87 million voters online, divided into two groups: Citizen 2.0, numbering 44.6 million at 51%, and Citizen Voter, 42.2 million and 49%. Citizen Voters are defined as more representative of the general population, whereas Citizen 2.0 voters like to connect, discuss and share information and political views.