Former Gov. Paul LePage (left) and Gov. Janet Mills. Credit: BDN composite image

Maine could see another $75 million in political media spending during the 2022 cycle, a far cry from 2020 but still a record for a midterm election here, one firm predicts.

AdImpact, which tracks advertising for political groups and other interested parties, is predicting $75 million in political ad spending here next year across TV, radio and digital platforms, with more than half of that total related to the gubernatorial race between Gov. Janet Mills and former Gov. Paul LePage.

The predicted total is still small compared to 2020, when Maine’s competitive U.S. Senate race between Sen. Susan Collins and her Democratic challenger, House Speaker Sara Gideon, saw $166 million in ad spending. Going into that cycle, AdImpact had predicted that the Senate race would see $55 million in ad money, a total that seemed huge at the time but only ended up accounting for roughly a third of total spending.

Gubernatorial races in a dozen states including Georgia, Arizona and Florida are still expected to outpace Maine next year, as are several competitive Senate races. Nationwide, AdImpact predicts $9 billion in political spending, a 128 percent increase compared to the 2018 midterm cycle.

Spending on the 2022 election is already underway in Maine’s 2nd District, where Republican groups had spent more than $700,000 on ads critical of Rep. Jared Golden as of last month. Golden, a Democrat, is one of national Republicans’ top targets as they look to take back the U.S. House.