2014 ElectionsReleases

Ad Spending Tops $1 Billion

Ad Spending Tops $1 Billion, Yet Ad Volume is Down From the Last Midterm Election Over 600,000 Ads Sponsored by Groups; Almost 40 Percent Dark Money   (MIDDLETOWN, CT) October 29, 2014 – Spending on television ads in federal and gubernatorial races in the 2013-14 election cycle has now topped $1 billion, with an estimated $1.19 billion spent from January 1, 2013 to October 23, 2014 (Table 1). That spending paid for over 2.2 million ad airings. Including other races into the totals—other statewide offices, state representatives, ballot measures and local offices—raises airings to 2.96 million at an estimated cost…
Wesleyan Media Project
October 29, 2014
Blog

Wesleyan Media Project Launches
New Website on Attack Ads

(MIDDLETOWN, CT) October 29, 2014 – Interest group advertising in U.S. Senate campaigns is at an all-time high, and advertising from dark money groups is breaking records.  America’s airwaves are filled with much more negativity than they were a decade ago.  AttackAds.org, a new initiative from the Wesleyan Media Project, launches today.  The initiative, made possible by funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, includes an educational website, a parody ad about negativity and unknown group sponsors, and a short documentary that defines attack advertising, highlights trends in its use and explains its link to dark money. …
Wesleyan Media Project
October 29, 2014
Blog

What Matters With Negativity is Timing

There is a lot of talk about negativity in elections, and as measured by Wesleyan Media Project (and Wisconsin Advertising Project) coding, there is much more of it on the airwaves than there was a decade ago.  Yanna Krupnikov (Stony Brook University) writes for us on the effects of negativity and why timing is everything.   On September 30, 2014, Rob Astorino, a Republican candidate running for Governor of New York, aired an ad designed to warn voters about his opponent’s questionable ethics.  Astorino’s ad was a “remake” of Lyndon B. Johnson’s 1964 “Daisy Girl Ad,” and used identical imagery to…
Wesleyan Media Project
October 22, 2014
Blog

Why We Should Care About Dark Money Ads

As part of our ongoing focus on interest group advertising and dark money in elections, we are pleased to welcome our first guest post by Conor Dowling (University of Mississippi) and Amber Wichowsky (Marquette University).   Total outside group spending in federal elections with no disclosure of donors saw a 60-fold increase between 2006 ($5.17 million) and 2012 ($310.8 million). This “dark money” can in large part be explained by increased spending by nondisclosing entities—particularly 501(c)(4) and 501(c)(6) groups that are not required to disclose the identities of their donors as long as their primary purpose is not “political.” In…
Wesleyan Media Project
October 16, 2014