US political ad spend on Google exceeds $384 million in the last 2 years

According to data presented by the Atlas VPN research team, US political advertisement spend on Google, YouTube, and partner outlets exceed $384.94 million in the past 2 years. In total, there were 414,285 unique political ads targeting US citizens since May 30, 2018.

For some time, the presidential race has taken a backseat as the main stage was occupied by the coronavirus, the economic fallout from the pandemic, and the current social unrest. Yet, Google sheds some light on the current political campaign horizon.

Google prepares the “Google Transparency Report” to inform readers about sensitive subjects such as political ad spend by different parties. Google’s goal is to provide greater transparency in political advertising on its platforms, including Google, YouTube, and partner properties.

Looking at the figures, the most significant spending from a single political campaign was the “Mike Bloomberg 2020 INC” campaign, where the spend accounted to a mind-boggling $62.16 million. Throughout the campaign, Mike Bloomberg’s team launched over 64,136 advertisements, according to Google’s Transparency Report.

Next in line stands the US President’s Donald Trump’s political campaigns, which are named “TRUMP MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN COMMITTEE” and “DONALD J. TRUMP FOR PRESIDENT, INC.” Combined, these campaigns total over $68.77 million in ad spend.

Worth noting, most of the funds were spent in the last 3 months, starting from May 17, 2020, when the weekly spend increased to more than $1.25 million.

Overall, the biggest amount of money spent on Trump’s campaigns was from August 16, 2020, to August 23, 2020, with $8,10 million on both of his political campaigns. Mr. President’s team launched 52,755 unique ads to date.

The fourth and fifth place for endorsement spending on Google goes to Joe Biden’s campaigns “BIDEN FOR PRESIDENT” - $26.31 million spent, and “BIDEN VICTORY FUND”, with $10.2 million spent, counting from May 30, 2018, to August 30, 2020.

As described on the Google Transparency Report, Biden’s team launched 15,988 unique advertisements.

The 6th place for ad spend goes to Tom Steyer’s campaign “TOM STEYER 2020”, investing over $8.87 million into the campaign since July 7, 2019. His team prepared 1,256 advertisements. His political advertisements stopped running on Google and other Google platforms as of February 23, 2020.

Finally comes Bernie Sanders’s campaign “BERNIE 2020” with $8.68 million amount spent from February 17, 2019, until March 15, 2020. He had over 965 unique advertisements displayed on Google and YouTube.

In this report, election ads include the current officeholder or candidate for an elected federal or state office, federal or state political party, or state ballot measure, initiative, or proposition that qualifies for the ballot in a state.

Ad spend by state

Political advertising spending varies widely around the US. In less populated states like Wyoming and Alaska, funds allocated for digital marketing purposes on Google do not exceed $400,000.

In contrast, larger states such as the Bear flag state - California, has over $40.24 million spent on ads, according to statistics released by Google.

Second on the list in ad spend is Florida, with $32.77 million funds allocated to political advertisements since May 30, 2018. Third on the list is Texas, with over $24.45 million funds put in for advertising purposes.

New York, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina are districts where political advertiser spending exceeded $16 million during the last 2 years.

On the other hand, Vermont, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho, Alaska, and Hawaii, had less than 1$ million spent on political advertising.


John C.

John C.


Tags: election ad spend google politics