The battle for the White House in 2012 has already begun with a seemingly endless supply of Republican party hopefuls tossing their hats into the ring. As we move through straw polls, caucuses, debates and primaries, ad spending will rise.  Analysts at Moody’s point to several unique elements in this election cycle that are likely to drive the ad market to as much as 18% higher than the 2010 spending levels.

In every presidential election, candidates spend vast sums trying to convince the electorate to vote for them. In the last election, some analysts believe John McCain erred in accepting federal funds which meant he was limited in the amount he could spend on his campaign. Ken Goldstein, president of the Campaign Media Analysis Group, doesn’t expect any candidate to make that move this time around, which means more ad spending will take place.

In addition, the Supreme Court removed the limits that corporations and unions can spend to support candidates. This will be the first presidential election in which companies can pour money into campaigns that align with their interests.

Moody’s analysts expect difficult gubernatorial races in several states ranging from Florida to Pennsylvania to Ohio. Likewise, competition for senate seats will be fierce in Virginia, Massachusetts and Nevada as Republicans attempt to take control of the Senate.

All of this activity should add up to an ad revenue bonanza , especially for TV stations. Moody’s analysts say “television broadcasters still attract more ads than any other media.”  Election spending reached $2.3 billion in 2010 and, if projections hold true, will amount to $2.7 billion in 2012.

[Source: Lieberman, David. TV Will See Unprecedented Frenzy of TV Ad in 2012. Dealdine.com. 21 Jun. 2011. Web. 6 Jul. 2011]