Political Ads Could Start Earlier than Ever Next Year

Get ready for political ads to start sometime next summer. Oh, joy!

Roll Call says political operatives predict the big ad buys to start much earlier than usual for next year’s midterm election. Usually, those don’t happen until after Labor Day. 2014 could see those start in early August.

That will likely involve an ad blitz in Utah because of the potential Jim Matheson/Mia Love rematch. 

“The tactics and strategies are certainly going to have to evolve because there’s only so much money you can spend between Oct. 1 and Election Day,” said Dan Conston, a spokesman for the Congressional Leadership Fund, a Republican House super PAC. “And it’s only so effective when there are five competing messages at the same time.”

Last cycle shattered political spending records, thanks to a presidential campaign and super PACs. Few operatives predict 2014 will break that advertisement spending record because of the absence of a national contest.

But the intensity will increase on competitive congressional races — mostly because there aren’t that many of them. Operatives say the number of truly competitive House races will be relatively small — maybe just a couple of dozen. Maybe eight Senate races will see major funds flood the state from parties and outside groups.