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**
%
Jobs %Taxes*
%
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).
† Total includes ~2,000 ads promoting candidates from other parties.
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.
Total†717,89832131824913
Total
Pro-Dem
361,0224615141754
Total
Pro-GOP
354,869181022321323
AK3139900000
AL66,0261710%97226
AR1,3503104947290
AZ19,9265928826811
CA31,9535433182445
CO6,7147037623710
CT3021000100000
FL37,161362093934
GA33,707239212901
HI1,82739000015
IA9,97247221857420
ID1,94712123635012
IL5,590593114261710
IN60,18318542322125
KS6,080231026401910
KY5,48140151311110
LA59001001001000
MD4,05811030209
ME5,10650171725220
MI13,22940243326333
MN2,18020163434180
MO27,436122628170
MS9,72135173830277
MT97,8813310122509
NC4,09944301220113
ND19,3182718272020
NE4,28438172574562
NH39100000046
NJ6,75417316511
NM10,970390125049
NV22,201736161972
NY13,5043732446410
OH18,99324823362216
OK3,39115636412532
OR1,2490024000
PA24,365311116271118
SC11,46119141235028
SD3,36800229016
TN19,9682133731619
TX12,32854131811231
UT4,255281262101
VA7,3615916927177
WA6,65645561200
WI32,1864521916136
WV42,946256289423
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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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