2012 ElectionsReleases

Presidential Ads 70 Percent Negative in 2012, Up from 9 Percent in 2008

Super PACs Sponsor Bulk of Presidential Ads; Obama, Crossroads GPS Battle in Same States (MIDDLETOWN, CT) May 2, 2012 – The 2012 presidential race is shaping up to be an overwhelmingly negative one, much more negative than the 2008 contest to date. As Table 1 shows, 7 out of 10 of the ads aired in this year’s presidential contests have been negative—that is, they mentioned an opponent. This compares to fewer than 1 in 10 ads aired during the 2008 presidential race up to this point that were negative. Table 1: Tone of Ads in Presidential Race (2008 and 2012)* “One…
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May 2, 2012
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Media Focus on Campaign Ad Strategy Amplifies Feeling of Negativity

Positive advertising matters as much if not more than negativity (MIDDLETOWN, CT) Mar 14, 2012 -- In the midst of perhaps the most negative presidential primary race in recent history, a new Wesleyan Media Project affiliated study (click here for an older local copy) published by Political Research Quarterly suggests that the tone of ads on the airwaves is not the only thing contributing to citizen perceptions of negativity. (more…)
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March 14, 2012
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Microtargeting: Not Just for Online Ads

The New York Times featured an article today on the increasing number of campaigns that are tailoring their advertising messages to different demographics over the internet.  This tactic – frequently referred to as microtargeting – is not confined to online placements of campaign ads.  In a newly published study appearing in Political Communication, two Wesleyan Media Project co-directors find evidence that, at least at the presidential level, campaigns are targeting specific audiences through television ads as well. (more…)
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February 21, 2012
2012 ElectionsReleases

Outside Group Involvement in GOP Contest Skyrockets Compared to 2008

Romney Advertising Dominates in Florida; General Election Advertising Sets Furious Pace (MIDDLETOWN, CT) Jan. 30, 2012 – The overall number of GOP presidential ads on the airwaves this election year is comparable with 2008, but who is paying for them so far has changed significantly.  The influence of SuperPACs in the race for the 2012 GOP nomination is clear, with a more than 1600 percent increase in interest-group sponsored ads aired as compared to 2008. In the first presidential election cycle following the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Citizens United v. FEC, interest group involvement in the presidential air war…
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January 30, 2012