2016 ElectionsBlogReleases

Eschewing policy in advertising? Lessons from 2016

  (MIDDLETOWN, CT) February 25, 2020 – Michael Bloomberg’s recent political ad, which portrays Donald Trump as a bully, has prompted discussion on social media about the effectiveness of personal versus policy attacks. Many of these discussions invoked a Wesleyan Media Project analysis from 2016 published in The Forum. In this research, we demonstrated that Clinton ran one of the most unusual presidential advertising campaigns in recent history by focusing overwhelmingly on personal characteristics of her opponent, Trump. While our 2016 study did not speak to effectiveness of personal versus policy ads, there is evidence that candidates suffer backlash from sponsoring…
Wesleyan Media Project
February 25, 2020
2020 ElectionsReleases

As NH Primary Nears, TV Ad Spending Tops $430 Million Nationally

Presidential Digital Ad Spending Nearly $200 Million (MIDDLETOWN, CT) February 5, 2020 – New Hampshire voters will be casting presidential primary ballots in less than a week, and one candidate is dominating the airwaves: Tom Steyer. A new analysis from the Wesleyan Media Project shows that of the roughly $33 million in television ad spending in the state (including neighboring Massachusetts, Maine and Vermont) Steyer accounts for almost half: $15.6 million (see Table 1). Steyer has aired twice as many ads (19,307) as his nearest competitor, Michael Bloomberg, who has aired nearly 9,413 ads at a cost of about $6.2…
Wesleyan Media Project
February 5, 2020
2020 ElectionsReleases

$44 Million on Presidential Ads in Iowa

Self-funded billionaires drive ad spending up 131% over 2016   (MIDDLETOWN, CT) January 29, 2020 – A new analysis from the Wesleyan Media Project shows that over $44 million has been spent on 122,815 broadcast television presidential ads in Iowa, which holds the nation’s first caucus on Monday, February 3 (Table 1). These totals in Iowa represent an 11 percent increase in presidential ad spending over 2016 (which saw $40 million) and a 65 percent increase in airings (74,483 ads aired at this point in 2016). Tom Steyer’s campaign has spent over $11 million on over 37,000 ads, while Pete…
Wesleyan Media Project
January 29, 2020
2020 ElectionsReleases

Trump, Steyer Talk Impeachment in Ads

Groups Mention Impeachment Issue In House Races;Total Ad Spending Approaches $300 Million in Presidential Race   (MIDDLETOWN, CT) December 19, 2019 – A new analysis from the Wesleyan Media Project in partnership with the Center for Responsive Politics shows that impeachment is largely absent from discussion in paid presidential television ads—with two major exceptions (Table 1). Since October 1, Donald Trump has spent over $4.4 million on 4,594 ad airings that discuss impeachment—fully 99.2 percent of his campaign’s airings. (Between the start of the year and October, he aired just 36 ads on broadcast television or national cable, none of…
Wesleyan Media Project
December 19, 2019