Political ad budgets on broadcast television are on track to be six times as much as they are online this year. Yet, the interference that the Internet has introduced into this election has been palpable. Our elections are going to be decided online either in this cycle or the next — not via online ballot box, which actually could be on the horizon. A large percentage of the actual political battlefield action is originating on the internet, leaving broadcast news discussing on-screen what has transpired online.
Overall, digital ad-spending is predicted to surpass television as early as next year, and with every new forecast, that date moves up closer to now. Digital political ad-spend this year is estimated at $1 billion, up 5,000% from 2008, and is predicted to be over $3 billion by 2020. While the televised attack ad is still with us, the online attack ad is here now, too.
Here’s an example. Just last week it was reported that the domain addressTedCruzForAmerica.com actually displays Canada’s own Immigration site, a challenge to Cruz by pointing out his Canadian origins. This isn’t the first time this has happened to poor Cruz, as TedCruz.com is a website simply displaying the message “Support President Obama — Immigration Reform Now!” JebBush.com redirects to Donald Trump’s campaign site.