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Biden Harris signs by Gage Skidmore
2020 ElectionsReleasesYear-End Summaries

Political Ads in 2020: Fast and Furious

Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr WMP Publishes End-of-Cycle Report   (MIDDLETOWN, CT) March 23, 2021 – New research published by the Wesleyan Media Project co-directors in The Forum: A Journal of Applied Research in Contemporary Politics (gated) provides a post-mortem on the fast and furious political advertising in the 2020 cycle.  Our analysis of the volume and spending on political advertising—both on television and online—suggests a few initial conclusions.  First, ad volumes in 2020 were off the charts.  Second, Democrats’ dominance of advertising on television was clear, with pro-Biden ads outnumbering pro-Trump ads two to one or even three to one in most media markets…
Donald Trump speaking at rally
2020 ElectionsReleases

Presidential General Election Ad Spending Tops $1.5 Billion

Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr Pro-Dem Ad Advantages Up and Down the Ballot; Republican Airings More Negative   Report Highlights President Biden and Trump spending by medium (Table 1) Top TV spenders in the presidential race (Table 2) Digital spending by Trump and Biden (Table 3) TV Spending by media market (Table 4, Figure 1, and compared to 2016 in Figure 2) Facebook spending by geography (Figure 4) U.S. Senate Top TV spenders in U.S. Senate races (Table 6) Digital and TV spending in U.S. Senate races (Table 7) Tone of U.S. Senate races (Table 8, Figure 8, and Figure 9) Top…
Wesleyan Media Project
October 29, 2020
2020 ElectionsReleases

Record Shattering 2020 Ad Volumes

Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr Phoenix Top Media Market Cycle-to-Date   (MIDDLETOWN, CT) October 21, 2020 – A new brief report from the Wesleyan Media Project finds record levels of television advertising in the 2020 campaigns. Over 4.9 million ads have aired in federal races (House, Senate and president) on broadcast and national cable television since January of 2019 (Figure 1). That volume is more than twice the volume of ad airings in the 2012 and 2016 presidential election cycles—and well above the previously record-setting mid-term election ad volumes in 2018.   Figure 1: Volume of Federal Advertising by Cycle (2012-2020) Numbers…
Wesleyan Media Project
October 21, 2020
2020 ElectionsReleases

Biden Continues to Dominate Advertising

TV Shatters Records, Dems Lead Ad War in All Top Senate Races   Report Highlights President Top TV spenders in the presidential race (Table 1) Digital spending by Trump and Biden (Table 2) Compare geographic spend on TV (Figure 1) and Facebook (Figure 3) Tone of presidential TV ads (Figures 6 and 7) US Senate Top TV spenders in US Senate races (Table 5) Digital spending in US Senate races (Table 6) Top issues in US Senate TV ads (Table 8) US House Top TV spenders in US House races (Table 10) Digital spending in US House races (Table 11)…
Wesleyan Media Project
October 15, 2020