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With a lofty projection that political ad buying could exceed $8 billion in 2020, PQ Media predicts that radio should get a significant boost during the 2020 elections, primarily due to robust voter turnout.

As Inside Radio reported last week from the Radio Advertising Bureau’s “Radio Matters” blog, Leo Kivijarv, Executive VP & Director of Research, PQ Media, wrote that more money has already been spent in 2019 than in the year preceding the previous presidential race, particularly on marketing services like public relations, direct marketing, telemarketing, promotional products, experiential marketing and market research.

One of the wildcards in 2020 is President Trump, as an incumbent with low approval ratings, who is expected to open his wallet this time—which could put total political spending as high as $8.25 billion, as long as the Democratic primary season endures for a good long time.

Kivijarv identified a number of baseline factors for political ad sellers to keep in mind as they develop their election 2020 marketing strategies in that first RAB blog post.

In a new RAB blog post, he now adds to the discussion some specific points about how radio may fit into the election spending process. With his belief that voter turnout will directly provide the airwaves “a significant boost during the 2020 elections,” he adds, “Radio growth will be predicated on how much the Democratic Party spends to increase the turnout of multicultural voters. Some believe the 2016 elections turned on weaker turnout by African Americans in the key states that Trump surprisingly won — Wisconsin and Michigan. The Democrats also examined data that showed a larger share of Hispanics voted Republican in 2016 compared with 2012 in close races that the Democrats thought they had won — Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Florida.”

Obviously, that means that get-out-and-vote campaigns will become a focus in those regions in 2020, “and subsequently with more financial resources than 2018,” Kivijarv writes.

“Why is this good for radio?” he posits. “African Americans and Hispanics over-index the overall population in radio listenership. Multicultural agencies have reported that their political client rosters are growing substantially, when compared with the 2016 and 2018 elections.” Therefore, radio is a very important component of the omnichannel political campaign strategy to reach multicultural audiences with messages that are culturally relevant, he says. As a result, PQ Media is predicting that radio will register a gain slightly above the overall political media buying growth rate in 2020.