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Monday, July 12, 2004

Swing States and TV Advertising

Posted by Chris Bowers

Cross-posted from the MyDD.

Kerry has just taken the lead over Bush in terms of total TV ads. Cool. However, what is far cooler is the analysis of advertising per state that appears in a separate article, also by Mark Memmott, in USA Today. In this article, he divides the number of ads run in a state by the number of electoral votes in the state:

Through June 26, the Bush campaign had run its ads an average of 393 times per electoral vote in the 17 states. But per electoral vote in those four states, Bush's ads had run 589 times (50% above average) in Iowa, 466 (19%) in Missouri, 470 (20%) in Ohio and 545 (39%) in Wisconsin.

Kerry's 17-state average was 405 ad showings per electoral vote. The Democratic candidate's ad pace in the four states getting the most attention: Iowa, 548 showings per electoral vote (35% above average); Missouri, 494 (22%); Ohio, 476 (18%); and Wisconsin, 593 (46%). (�Ķ)

There are seven states where both campaigns have run significantly fewer ads than their 17-state averages: Arkansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington and West Virginia.

Not only is it surprising that both campaigns have the same top four states, but that they also have the same bottom seven. It is particularly stunning that Pennsylvania is not in the top ten in terms of ads per electoral vote, considering how much time both candidates regularly spend in the Keystone state.

If Iowa, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin truly are the key to his election, then this article appeared a couple of weeks too late for Gephardt. C'est la vie.

Posted at 06:05 PM in General Election Cattle Call | Technorati


Would love to see comparable numbers for 2000 - I'd like to know if the Gore and Bush campaigns were advertising in the "right" states.

Posted by: DavidNYC at July 12, 2004 06:20 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

First, the Iowa numbers may be inflated by how cheap buying ads there is. In other words each campaign may have thought that they could kind of sneak up on on the other one buy totally ambushing Iowa with ads. Iowa has a number of smaller markets.

Second, the Show Me State may be the opposite thing. You can hit a large part of Missouri with just two more expensive media markets, but again you're getting a lot of bang for your buck.

Finally, Ohio is the key to the race and it is no suprise that that is where a ton of money is going to get spent.

This is a great thing to watch in terms of which states within those 17 are truly still in play. Living in Minnesota, I'll tell you that I will swim in Lake Superior in November if Bush wins here. It may be close (I'd say five points), but in the end Kerry will win by a safe margin. I have never seen our half of the electorate as pissed of and ready to work as they are right now.

Posted by: Kendal Killian at July 13, 2004 01:13 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I am very surprised by those Pennsylvania numbers. The only possible explanation that would fit this data with my preconceived notions (now do I sound like a Bush appointee? :) is that the state may be a swing state, but two of the three regions may not be swinging much. SE PA is solid Kerry territory, while central/NE/NW PA with the possible exception of Erie, Scranton, Wilkes-Barre are solid Bush territory. However SW PA is still swinging. I know that I have seen way too many ads for this early in the season down in Pittsburgh, but what about the rest of the state? What is the media market breakdown?

The more likely and plausible explanation is that Pennsylvania is a strong leaner to Kerry, I think, and both sides are operating under this assumption and shooting their ammo elsewhere.

Posted by: fester at July 13, 2004 01:51 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment