The summer heat generated by the presidential election just got way hotter. On Saturday, presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney announced that Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan would be his running mate. Ryan is an unabashed conservative, and his selection has energized that party’s conservative base—a base that wasn’t exactly gung ho over Mitt Romney during the primary process. On the flipside, the prospect of a conservative intellectual leader like Ryan as VP also has energized the Democrat base. The Dems are poised to paint Ryan’s budget cutting proposals as “extreme,” and dangerous for the country.
The selection of Ryan has kicked the presidential race into the next gear, and the process is only going to rev higher from here, as both parties hold their conventions in the next two to three weeks. Both camps also will be ramping up advertising campaigns from now until Election Day, and that means mega bucks into the coffers of media companies selling advertising time and space.
Thanks to the landmark 2010 Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which essentially ruled that freedom of speech (particularly political speech) also applies to corporations, companies and wealthy individuals can give unlimited money to so-called super PACs to buy as much advertising as they want.
According to a recent study by the research firm Borrell Associates, total election spending in 2012 is projected to come in at $9.8 billion. By comparison, total spending on the 2008 election came in at a record $7 billion. Spending by political action committees, or PACs, national political party committees and those super PACs is projected to be about $4.76 billion.
For investors, taking advantage of this impending spending binge could be as easy as buying the stocks likely to get the lion’s share of these big political bucks.
Here are 5 companies for the coming election spending binge.