Here are a few spots where the crunch for airtime will be especially acute this fall. The advice from our media buyers: Get in early.
1. Cleveland, OH
Ohio is always a presidential battleground, but this year the state plays host to a competitive Senate race, too. And in the Cleveland area there’s also several competitive House races, which will create the perfect storm for TV advertising.
2. Charlotte, NC
Viewers in North Carolina’s largest city will remember the blanket of campaign ads that descended upon them in 2008 when then-Sen. Barack Obama targeted the state in the general election and Kay Hagan won a hard fought Senate race. Count on a rerun of that.
3. Columbus, OH
This isn’t the first rodeo for Ohio’s capital, but it could be the biggest. Ad buyers like the mid-sized market’s reach and could prompt a bidding war for its airtime.
4. Orlando, FL
Orlando is one of the battlegrounds in a battleground state. Viewers here will be targeted by both presidential campaigns, the Senate candidates and, undoubtedly, issue advertisers.
5. Green Bay, WI
The recall election of Gov. Scott Walker combined with Wisconsin’s new “purple” state status will see millions of dollars spent on issue advertising here.
6. Pittsburgh, PA
The Pittsburgh market reaches the conservative southwestern region of Pennsylvania and will be on every ad buyer’s list because of a potentially competitive Senate race, the presidential contest and the region’s competitive House races.
7. Richmond, VA
The Obama camp is targeting a second win here and with NoVa still leaning Democratic, it will be looking to reach more persuadable voters in the central and southern parts of the state.
8. Billings, MT
This is Montana’s largest city, but it’s still a bargain to advertise here. Sen. Jon Tester’s (D) reelection race is likely to draw the attention of issue groups that, with only $100,000 to spend, can get some significant airtime for their buck.
9. Denver, CO
The Rocky Mountain West will be primarily a presidential battleground and will see significant issue spending by Super PACs. Be warned, Denver.
10. Phoenix, AZ
Arizona had the second fastest growing population in 2010 and this year it’ll get a campaign ad market to match that status. Phoenix broadcasters reach almost all eight of the state’s House districts, and the state will be a presidential battleground this fall.