The Wesleyan Media Project (WMP) is pleased to provide scholarly access to Kantar Media/CMAG tracking data and video files covering all broadcast television political advertising from the 210 media markets in the United States. Wesleyan Media Project coding is also available for all federal and gubernatorial airings that have been publicly released.
To gain access to a particular year of political ad data, please follow the instructions below. Each data set costs $20. The nominal fee ensures WMP has resources to cover needed administrative and web maintenance costs of making the data available to scholars.
What Comes with Your Purchase
- Zipped Stata files broken out by level of race (e.g., President; US Senate; US House; Governor; and down ballot, which includes all other state and local races, including judicial). Each row in these data sets represents a unique airing of a specific ad.
- Zipped SPSS files containing the same data as the Stata files
- Zipped folders containg a .wmv video file for each ad (10-20 video files are typically missing in each cycle). 2018 ads are also available in .mp4 format.
- Download the variable matrix, which shows the variables available in each data set
- NOTE: The 2010 data is divided up differently, with a separate spending file
See below for data availability by year and levels. Data from 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018 start on January 1 of the year prior to election day up to election day (e.g., 1/1/2011 – 11/5/2012). Data from 2006 and 2010 cover January 1 of the election year up to election day.
Due to contractual obligations with our data provider, data can only be purchased by members of academic institutions, for academic purposes.
Guidance on how to deal with WMP data for replication policies
WMP would like to remind our users that the data agreement with Kantar Media/CMAG prohibits scholars from providing access to the underlying data in publication materials, even for the purposes of replication. In order to comply with journal replication policies, we recommend that scholars 1) provide syntax that includes a call to the original public file and modifies it for use in their analyses, and 2) include a note indicating how others can gain access to the data by signing a user agreement of their own.
Political Ad Airings Data
|U.S. Senate, U.S. House,|
"down ballot" races
|2004 and earlier||Access via Wisconsin Advertising Project|
|2006*||Apply for access below|
Download 2006 Codebook
|2008||Access via Wisconsin Advertising Project|
|2010**||Apply for access below|
Download 2010 Codebook
|2012||Apply for access below|
Download 2012 Codebook
|Apply for access below
Download 2012 Presidential Codebook
|2014||Apply for access below|
Download 2014 Codebook
|2016||Apply for access below |
Download 2016 Codebook
|Apply for access below
Download 2016 Presidential Codebook
|2018||Apply for access below|
Download 2018 Codebook
|2020||Apply for access below|
Download 2020 Codebook
|Apply for access below
Download 2020 Presidential Codebook
|2022||Contractually, cannot be made |
available until after 2024 elections.
Sign up to be notified.
|*2006 data set is from 1/1/2006-election day and is only from the top 100 media markets.
**2010 data set is from 1/1/2010-election day from all 210 markets.
Other Data Sets
|2013-2018||Health Insurance TV Advertising||Download PDF||Apply for access below|
|2011-2012 & |
|Population Health Messaging in |
Political Ads 2012 & 2016
Used in Fowler et. al. 2019
|Download PDF||Apply for access below
Note: These data are at the ad level, meaning each
row is a unique ad. If you want information on when
and where the ads aired, or the ads' video files, you'll
need to purchase the ad files for the 2012 & 2016
How to Apply
To request data, please fill out the online form below or contact us regarding a mail-in option.
Please note that applications may take up to 3-4 business days (more during holidays) to process as our agreement with Kantar/CMAG requires manual verification of your identity. We apologize that we cannot automatically grant data access.
Option 1: Online Submission (see below)
- Before filling out this application form, please create an account with Figshare. Starting in 2023, WMP is using Figshare to distribute data. You need a Figshare account in order to access the WMP data. Existing WMP data users need a Figshare account to apply for new data, but can still access older data on the WMP site for the time being.
- Fill out the online form below.
- After filling out the form, please go to the WMP store to pay ($20 per dataset).
- We will be in touch to provide your access once payment has been received.
Option 2: By Mail
If you would like to buy data by mail, please reach out to us via our Contact Us page. Due to changed work arrangements, mail delivery is a bit more difficult so we can’t accept applications by mail without prior coordination.
After filling out the form, please go to the WMP store to pay ($20 per dataset). We will be in touch to provide your access once payment has been received. Submitting the form below constitutes your acceptance of the data use agreement (see links in the form).