2018 ElectionsReleases

61% Increase in Volume of Negative Ads

Record-Breaking Number of Ads; More Democratic Dark Money (MIDDLETOWN, CT) October 30, 2018 - As we reach the final week of the 2018 midterm election, an analysis by the Wesleyan Media Project finds that television advertising in federal races is setting new records in volume—and in the volume of negative ads, thanks in part to the large number of competitive races across the country. While the proportion of negative advertising in the post-Labor Day general election period (Sept. 4–Oct. 25) is not actually record-breaking, this election season feels exceptionally negative to many viewers because the sheer number of negative ads…
Wesleyan Media Project
October 30, 2018
2018 ElectionsReleases

2018: The Health Care Election

Democrats hold huge ad advantages in federal races; Ad volume cycle-to-date up 60 percent over 2014 (MIDDLETOWN, CT) October 18, 2018 - It’s official: the 2018 midterms are about health care. In the period between September 18 and October 15, nearly half (45.9 percent) of airings in federal races mentioned the topic while nearly a third (30.2 percent) of gubernatorial airings did the same. Although both parties are mentioning health care, the topic is most prominent in ads supporting Democrats, appearing in 54.5 percent of pro-Democratic airings. As shown in Figure 1, health care appeared in a third (33.9 percent)…
Wesleyan Media Project
October 18, 2018
2018 ElectionsReleases

TX Senate Race Draws Millions in Digital Ad Spending

O’Rourke leads all candidates with over $5.5 million in digital ads; Politicians hint at presidential runs with digital spending (MIDDLETOWN, CT) October 18, 2018 - The Wesleyan Media Project’s latest analysis compares television ad spending with digital ad spending in Senate campaigns and competitive House races. Television estimates come from Kantar/CMAG, Facebook estimates come from Pathmatics, while Google spending comes from the company’s Transparency Report website. The analysis covers the period between May 31, when Google’s online archive of political advertising became available, and October 15. The analysis is not a comprehensive accounting of digital advertising, as it excludes digital…
Wesleyan Media Project
October 18, 2018
2018 ElectionsReleases

Half of Senate Ads Negative in Past Month

GOP Candidates More Negative than Democrats (MIDDLETOWN, CT) October 4, 2018 - A new analysis from the Wesleyan Media Project (WMP) shows that half of the ads airing in the past month in U.S. Senate races were pure negative ads—their focus was attacking an opponent (Table 1). Only 30 percent were positive ads that focused solely on the favored candidate. The remaining 20 percent were contrast ads, which mention both the favored candidate and the opponent. Tone is determined based on whether the favored or targeted candidate in a race is featured in the ad (excluding the “paid for by”…
Wesleyan Media Project
October 4, 2018