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Fine Tuning Advertising Costs


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The goal is to figure the political advertising costs for each state in the United States so as to have a more accurate simulation.

Given that advertising costs rise faster than inflation, there is no easy way to figure it out for other years aside from actually finding specific data.

Media Markets

Media Market Maps

Some detail on media markets


  • The 2004 standard for political advertising was 5 dollars on broadcast for every 4 on cable.
  • I'm not sure how many ratings points are required to run a solid campaign—1000 is considered saturation (1 rating point = 1% of potential audience, 1000 means everybody has seen the ad 10 times) so 500 is probably a reasonable buy for most single ads.


Texas—$1.4 million/week (Source).

California—over $2 million/week (Source) | over $3 million/week (Source) | $2-4 million/week/per ad (Source) | $5 million+/week (Source) | $4.5 million/week+ (Source).

Pennsylvania—$2.2 million/week for saturation (Source).

New Jersey—$2-4 Million/week/per ad (Source)

(NJ is covered by the New York & Philadelphia media markets)

Super Bowl—$2.6 million/per 30 seconds (Source).

New Hampshire (Per Week) (Source)

Boston—400 points, $319,000 / Boston—825 points, $705,100

Burlington-Plattsburgh—550 points, $43,995

Manchester—560 points, $173,965 / Manchester— 1,435 points, $464,040

Portland-Auburn—450 points, $42,000


Virginia—$1 million+/week (Source).


Ohio—$1 million+ a week in March (Source)

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California$2-4 million/week/per ad (Source).

If one were to accept the $4 million/week cost then TheorySpark is more or less dead on for California (20 grand/day higher which is totally reasonable) but it's the other markets—New Jersey, most obviously—that are off.

I think using California to calibrate the Advertising coefficient per year makes sense (since TheorySpark controls the ratios between states, we'll have to wait for them to fix that).

So… does anybody have sources that say what a statewide campaign in California costs in each Presidential year?

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