Are you reading this article on November 8, 2015? If so, congratulations! You only have to put up with the 2016 Presidential election campaign for one more year.
It seems like the campaign has been going on since 2014 — and in many aspects that is probably true. Presidential politics has taken the front stage since the mid-term elections, and with the entry of Donald Trump into the race and the rise of the "outsiders," election coverage has been dominating news channels. Just wait until the ads start rolling in!
Thanks to this barrage of free publicity, especially as expertly manipulated by Donald Trump, most campaigns and Super PACs have not had to spend significant amounts of their war chests so far. Enjoy it while it lasts, because most predictions suggest that advertising spending on the 2016 Presidential campaign will shatter records. Those lagging in the polls, such as Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and Ohio Governor John Kasich, have already had to unleash significant spending plans.
The Cook Political Report predicts that $4.4 billion could be spent on presidential TV ads alone in this election cycle, while The Hill quotes fundraisers expecting $5 billion in total campaign spending. That would be almost double the $2.6 billion in spending on the last campaign in 2012. Others are predicting total spending in the $3-$3.5 billion range, far more conservative but still a significant increase over 2012.
The Hill also reports that spending by Hillary Clinton and on her behalf could reach $1.5 billion, or even $2 billion according to her allies — assuming that she wins the Democratic nomination.