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January 28, 2020

Dem Candidates TV Spend into Iowa Caucuses

Regardless of the current polling information that is widely being reported, the Democratic Presidential candidates are performing, some quite spectacularly, leading into next week’s Iowa caucuses when it comes to television advertising spend. A recent study performed by ( shows the levels of local TV advertisement spending by each of the top-four polling front runners (Biden, Sanders, Warren, and Buttigieg) as well as the top spenders (Bloomberg and Steyer).

As the provided chart shows for the month of January leading into the Iowa caucuses, spending has been largely focused in local markets for the polling front runners highlighted by Iowa markets as well as New Hampshire and South Carolina markets leading into those primaries in a couple of weeks. Interestingly the Nevada markets are not being targeted despite those caucuses for that state falling in between the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries. Of this group, the biggest spender this month has been Sanders with over $2.5 million followed by Buttigieg with almost $1 million. Biden and Warren are present but not in a meaningful way.

The local spending footprints for the big-spending Bloomberg and Steyer campaigns are seemingly not focusing on the upcoming primary battle sites, but rather they are priming large and key markets with important platform messages. To be sure, Bloomberg accounts for over 70% of spend this month and Steyer an additional 25% totaling nearly $114 million.

– John P Derham (

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