Advertising Issue Spotlight (through 7/31/18)

(MIDDLETOWN, CT) August 29, 2018 – The Wesleyan Media Project is releasing the first post in a series of regularly updated overviews of issue mentions in federal races by state. Below we show the number of ads that aired in House and Senate races from January 1, 2017 to July 31, 2018.

We break down the percentage of ads mentioning six key issues tracked by the WMP. For example, from January 1, 2017 through the end of July, 19,926 ads have aired in federal races in Arizona. An overwhelming majority (59 percent) of those ads mentioned the issue of healthcare, and just over one in every ten (11 percent) of them mentioned immigration.

The “healthcare” column includes the references to “ACA/health reform” and the “taxes” column includes the references to “tax reform.”

Percentages across the four main issue columns (healthcare, jobs, taxes, and immigration) may total more than 100 percent because ads often feature more than one issue.

The WMP plans to release updates to this table through the fall campaign season. See links to those posts below:

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Table 1: Airings by State in Federal Races

StateAd
Airings
Healthcare*ACA /
Health
Reform†
JobsTaxes*Tax
Reform
Immigration
* The "healthcare" column includes references to "ACA/health reform" and the "taxes" column includes references to "tax reform."
† Includes explicit references to the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare and/or references to how health care should be or has been reformed (including references to Republican legislative efforts).
Figures are from January 1, 2017 - July 31, 2018. Numbers include broadcast television. States with zero federal airings during this period: DE, MA, RI, VT, WY.
CITE SOURCE OF DATA AS: Kantar Media/CMAG with analysis by the Wesleyan Media Project.
Total717,89832%13%18%24%9%13%
AK31399%0%0%0%0%0%
AL66,02617%10%9%7%2%26%
AR1,35031%0%49%47%29%0%
AZ19,92659%28%8%26%8%11%
CA31,95354%33%18%24%4%5%
CO6,71470%37%6%23%7%10%
CT302100%0%100%0%0%0%
FL37,16136%20%9%39%3%4%
GA33,70723%9%21%29%0%1%
HI1,82739%0%0%0%0%15%
IA9,97247%22%18%57%42%0%
ID1,94712%12%36%35%0%12%
IL5,59059%31%14%26%17%10%
IN60,18318%5%42%32%21%25%
KS6,08023%10%26%40%19%10%
KY5,48140%15%13%11%11%0%
LA590%0%100%100%100%0%
MD4,05811%0%30%2%0%9%
ME5,10650%17%17%25%22%0%
MI13,22940%24%33%26%3%33%
MN2,18020%16%34%34%18%0%
MO27,43612%2%6%28%17%0%
MS9,72135%17%38%30%27%7%
MT97,88133%10%12%25%0%9%
NC4,09944%30%12%20%11%3%
ND19,31827%1%8%27%20%20%
NE4,28438%17%25%74%56%2%
NH39100%0%0%0%0%46%
NJ6,75417%3%16%5%1%1%
NM10,97039%0%12%5%0%49%
NV22,20173%61%6%19%7%2%
NY13,50437%3%24%46%41%0%
OH18,99324%8%23%36%22%16%
OK3,39115%6%36%41%25%32%
OR1,2490%0%24%0%0%0%
PA24,36531%11%16%27%11%18%
SC11,46119%14%12%35%0%28%
SD3,3680%0%2%29%0%16%
TN19,96821%3%37%31%6%19%
TX12,32854%13%18%11%2%31%
UT4,25528%12%6%21%0%1%
VA7,36159%16%9%27%17%7%
WA6,65645%5%6%12%0%0%
WI32,18645%2%19%16%13%6%
WV42,94625%6%28%9%4%23%
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About This Report

Data reported here from Kantar/CMAG do not cover local cable buys, only broadcast television, national network and national cable buys. All cost estimates are precisely that: estimates.

The Wesleyan Media Project (WMP) provides real-time tracking and analysis of political advertising in an effort to increase transparency in elections. Housed in Wesleyan’s Quantitative Analysis Center – part of the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life – the Wesleyan Media Project is the successor to the Wisconsin Advertising Project, which disbanded in 2009. It is directed by Erika Franklin Fowler, associate professor of government at Wesleyan University, Michael M. Franz, professor of government at Bowdoin College and Travis N. Ridout, professor of political science at Washington State University. WMP staff include Laura Baum (Project Manager), Dolly Haddad (Project Coordinator) and Matthew Motta (Research Associate).

The Wesleyan Media Project is supported by Wesleyan University. Data are provided by Kantar Media/CMAG with analysis by the Wesleyan Media Project. WMP is partnering again this year with the Center for Responsive Politics, to provide added information on outside group disclosure.

Periodic releases of data will be posted on the project’s website and dispersed via Twitter @wesmediaproject. To be added to our email update list, click here.

For more information contact:
Lauren Rubenstein, lrubenstein@wesleyan.edu, (860) 685-3813

About Wesleyan University
Wesleyan University, in Middletown, Conn., is known for the excellence of its academic and co-curricular programs. With more than 2,900 undergraduates and 200 graduate students, Wesleyan is dedicated to providing a liberal arts education characterized by boldness, rigor and practical idealism. For more, visit wesleyan.edu.

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