The Definitive

Ad Resource...

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ACA Messaging

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What We Do


The Wesleyan Media Project tracks and analyzes all broadcast advertisements aired by or on behalf of federal and state election candidates in every media market in the country. Since the 2010 election cycle, we have been providing real-time information on ad spending in federal election campaigns across the country, who specifically is doing that spending and which candidates are benefiting.

Our goals are to develop a definitive database that tracks all advertising by source (interest group, corporation, union, party, or candidate), and to enhance the ability of scholars, citizens, and journalists to hold government accountable by providing public information on how special interests are attempting to influence American democracy in general and political campaigns in particular.

See our latest report here, or read our year-end summaries of campaign advertising in the 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016 elections.

more about the wesleyan media project

Press Releases

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    2020 Digital Spending Update
    Trump Bets on Online Spending;Warren, Biden, Harris Top Democratic Spenders; Men Seeing More Online Presidential Ads   (MIDDLETOWN, CT) June 6, 2019 – In this early part of the 2020...
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    Four Key Lessons from 2018 Political Ads
    (MIDDLETOWN, CT) December 3, 2018 – 2018 was a record-breaking year for campaign ads. WMP co-directors – Erika Franklin Fowler, Michael Franz and Travis Ridout – highlight four key lessons...
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    Advertising Issue Spotlight (10/1/18 – 10/31/18)
    (MIDDLETOWN, CT) November 5, 2018 – The Wesleyan Media Project is releasing its fourth post in a series of regularly updated overviews of issue mentions in federal races by state...

Team & Partners

Who we are

The Wesleyan Media Project is directed by Professors Erika Franklin Fowler, Michael M. Franz and Travis N. Ridout. The Project Manager is Laura Baum. An outstanding group of students from all three institutions support the project through various activities.

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The Data

Press releases

We track all broadcast advertisements aired in presidential, congressional and many lower-level campaigns in real-time. During election years, we regularly post press releases detailing the content, volume and estimated cost of political advertisements.

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WMP News

News from the project

Check out the latest from our blog featuring a variety of content related to media and advertising analyses including project updates, short commentaries, summaries, links to interesting research and occasional guest posts.

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Our funders and partners

Our real-time tracking is made possible this year through the generous support of: The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Wesleyan University. Thanks also to our collaborators at the Center for Responsive Politics.