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It’s all politics: NPR


Kantar Media CMAG notes that of the 1,014,484 presidential campaign ads that aired between April 10 and October 22, the majority were negative.

Advertising tone for presidential elections

Democrats and Republicans are well on their way to spending about $ 1 billion each on television advertising in the presidential campaign. Most of it is negative and almost everything is centered around nine battlefield states.

If you live in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, or Wisconsin, you can’t escape the bilateral commercial flash. For the folks following political ads at Kantar Media CMAG, these commercials tell a story.

According to data the ad tracking company compiled from April through October, the ads are mostly negative, by almost 7 to 1, and the chessboard is set.

The advertising battlefield isn’t going to shrink even if some states seem out of reach – like North Carolina to the Democrats – because both sides have so much money.

“You used to sit around and say, ‘We only have a limited amount of money because we took federal funding,’ says Ken Goldstein, president of Kantar’s Campaign Media Analysis Group, have to sit around and make very, very difficult decisions, make decisions about where to play and where to go … go. You really don’t have to make those difficult decisions now. “

But the ad purchases also tell us the map won’t expand either. Republicans are not yet spending money in Michigan or Pennsylvania, for example. Regarding who has an advantage in the advertising wars, Goldstein says President Obama’s re-election campaign until recently gave the target a head start.

“Obama and the Democrats actually had an advantage in news flow for paid advertising in late August and most of September,” Goldstein says. “It was the same in the last few weeks.

“Everyone thinks we’re going to see a huge amount of Republican money in the past two weeks, but the last time we looked at this data … both sides … are very much on par in all major markets. “

SuperPACs and parties pay more per spot than campaigns that receive a discount. Buying your seats early, as the Obama campaign did unlike GOP challenger Mitt Romney, will get you a cheaper price.

No matter who you are, says Goldstein, if you want to convince a target group with your ad in the right federal states, you will pay a lot more.

Kantar Media CMAG breaks down the total advertising expenditure for each election vote in battlefield states by party lines. Kantar notes that in Wisconsin, which has 10 votes, a steady Republican ad purchase helped put that state on the battlefield. This graph shows TV ad spend from June 14th through October. 17th

Wis. Advertising expenditure per voting vote

Wis.  Advertising expenditure per voting vote

“The most precious thing in the Midwest is college football. If white men are a target, what do white men like to do? [They] like to watch football, “says Goldstein as an example of how campaigns target certain voter blocks.” It will be a very, very valuable, valuable purchase. “

But do ads really work? Political scientist Diana Mutz is skeptical.

“There’s little evidence that ads make a big difference in the presidential campaign,” she says. “Most people are shocked to learn what the likely impact is in relation to the huge campaign resources that go into advertising.

“It’s shockingly small for the money when it comes down to it.”

But the campaigns are happy to settle for “shockingly small”. Goldstein assumes that there are around 800,000 really undecided voters in the battlefield states; Add in a total of $ 1 billion in ads – and that means campaigns spend about $ 1,000 per convinced voter.

“You have an enormous number of ads that are very, very few glances. Well, that is, you can say, ‘Well, that’s not very efficient.’ But these campaigns don’t worry about efficiency, “he says. “These campaigns are concerned about Al Gore. All of these things matter on the edge. Ask Al Gore if the edge matters.”

Former Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore naturally lost 537 voters in Florida in 2000 – a point the Obama campaign happens to highlight in a new ad.

Goldstein also says he thinks ads could explain why Romney does better on national polls than on battlefield polls, which see voters flood of anti-Romney ads.

Look at Ohio and Wisconsin. Ohio was expected to be close, and the Obama side beat Romney with negative ads all summer; the president retains a small but measurable advantage in the state. In Wisconsin, where the Obama campaign was seen as a benefit, Democrats didn’t start advertising until the fall, and a steady summer-long GOP ad buying helped bring the state into play.

But are voters hiding the advertisements?

“There is actually no good evidence that there is a saturation point where people no longer pay attention to the political ads or are no longer interested in the political ads,” says political scientist Lynn Vavreck.

“The ads have effects … but those effects wear off pretty quickly,” she says. “So if you’re the Obama or Romney campaign player, one of the things you have to do is be consistent on the air. You can’t leave any part of the game to your opponent because then these effects will pile up. “

So as long as there is still a voter to be convinced, the campaigns for him will continue.


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