The 2020 presidential election is a long way off, but political ads related to it have already hit TVs in Iowa, with nearly all of them coming from two candidates – U.S. Rep. John Delaney of Maryland and California billionaire Tom Steyer, according to a Des Moines Register analysis published Monday.
Experts said it is unusual to have presidential advertising this early in the cycle, but political trends are becoming increasingly unpredictable.
Madeline Meininger, a senior analyst with Kantar Media/CMAG, compared the early presidential activity in 2018 to that of 2014, which also saw early campaigns, but with just two ads focused on the 2016 presidential elections.
“If you had expected early presidential activity in 2018 to look like what it did in 2014, you would be shocked by how much we’ve seen this year,” she said, according to the Register.
The bulk of the ads hitting Iowa stations are from Delaney, who was a largely unknown political figure until three years ago. He announced in October 2017 he would run for president.
He has aired more than 3,100 television ads, all broadcast in Iowa, and has touted the use of technological innovation, automation and globalization as the way of the future.
Steyer accounts for most of the remaining 2020-themed political ads broadcast, although the former hedge fund manager said he has yet to make a decision about 2020.
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