Hidden Factor in the Election: Obama Advertising Advantage

While, as Mollie notes below, the just released Pew poll showed a big move of voters producing a convincing Romney advantage, the Rasmussen poll today rates the race tied.  This was after a post-debate shift that that took Romney from two points down in Rasmussen’s tracking to as many up.  The two-point move between yesterday and today is statistical noise, but it left me asking, is something more going on, something we don’t see?

The answer could be in this Wesleyan Media Project analysis.  Here are quotes from the project’s news release of October 3rd, the day of the first Romney-Obama debate:

  • “In the three-week period since the parties’ national conventions, Barack Obama and his party and interest group allies have continued to dominate the [TV and radio advertising] airwaves in the battleground presidential states”

  • “From September 9 to September 30, Obama held an ad advantage in 14 of the 15 most advertised markets in the key states of Virginia, Ohio and Florida”
  • “‘Heavy advertising from the Obama campaign has challenged the assumption that Romney-friendly outside groups would saturate and dominate the airwaves in key markets,’ said Erika Franklin Fowler, co-director of the Wesleyan Media Project.”
  • “In fact, Obama and his allies aired 1,800 more ads than Romney and his allies in Denver; 1,700 more in Norfolk, Virginia; and 1,500 more in in Orlando-all in the last three weeks. ‘The heavy Obama advantage may be one reason why polling in battleground states has moved against Romney in recent weeks,’ Fowler said.”
  1. Joseph Stanko
    Brandon Shafer: A little while ago I saw an Obama ad.  It really surprised me since I’m here in central Indiana.  It seemed like a waste. · 4 hours ago

    Yeah, I’ve seen a few Obama ads recently, and I live in California.  I figure they must just buy some national ads from the networks in addition to more targeted, local advertising.

  2. ljt

    But wasn’t all the millions spent prior to the debates effectively misspent? In fact  they may have even worked against him in that they painted such a caricature of Romney that his real personality did even better in contrast? + they provide a vaccine against future ads?

    Ps seeing Obama ads in Texas during sporting events. (maybe elsewhere but I don’t watch anything live so I fastforward through most ads – except the one where the guy sings “Fly by night” in his car. Not seen a Romney one though.

  3. liberal jim

    Clearly Obama is running a superior campaign.  Romney’s effort has been criticized by both sides and explains why Obama remains even.  Romney has absolute authority when it comes to his campaign  and seems at best inept   Yet we are asked by his supporters to believe he will do a great job as President.    As I said before if Romney loses we lose, if Romney wins we lose.  Why are conservatives cheering?

  4. John Davey
    Joseph Stanko

    Brandon Shafer: A little while ago I saw an Obama ad.  It really surprised me since I’m here in central Indiana.  It seemed like a waste. · 4 hours ago

    Yeah, I’ve seen a few Obama ads recently, and I live in California.  I figure they must just buy some national ads from the networks in addition to more targeted, local advertising. · 4 hours ago

    I’ve seen Obama ads here in Northern CA since the end of August, usually on cable channels. A few nights they ran 4 ads per hour for 3 hours in Prime Time (The “Romney Tough on China” ad). Are they a waste in CA? Well, the President was holding a rally last night in San Francisco, even though he has CA wrapped up. The ads simply keep the CA ATM primed.

  5. wmartin

    Obama will have no problem spending at this rate straight through election day. He probably won’t even be able to spend all the money he has. It’s a formidable task.

  6. ParisParamus

    What’s the upshot of this? That Romney is doomed? That Romney is still holding back? That hardest hurt are ads for cars and the Olive Garden?

  7. Xennady
    wmartin: Obama will have no problem spending at this rate straight through election day. He probably won’t even be able to spend all the money he has. It’s a formidable task.

    And since he has access to apparently endless amounts of foreign money why wouldn’t he?

    Plus since I trust these leftist polling outfits not at all I figure the reason why Pew adjusted their model from D+crazy to R+3 is so after the next debate- when they hope Obama will do better- they can suddenly announce that there has been a massive wave in his favor.

    Which they will document by simply returning to their D+crazy models.

  8. wmartin
    Xennady

    wmartin: Obama will have no problem spending at this rate straight through election day. He probably won’t even be able to spend all the money he has. It’s a formidable task.

    And since he has access to apparently endless amounts of foreign money why wouldn’t he?

    Plus since I trust these leftist polling outfits not at all I figure the reason why Pew adjusted their model from D+crazy to R+3 is so after the next debate- when they hope Obama will do better- they can suddenly announce that there has been a massive wave in his favor.

    Which they will document by simply returning to their D+crazy models. · 3 minutes ago

    I am not into conspiracy theories, but I admit to briefly thinking the same things. I would prefer to have Romney winning D+4 and D+3 polls instead of assuming historically high R turnout. Could happen, if Ras’s party registration polls are right…

    Pew doesn’t really use a model, though…they work on the assumption that party id is fluid and whoever picks up the phone is who picks up the phone.

  9. Brandon Shafer

    A little while ago I saw an Obama ad.  It really surprised me since I’m here in central Indiana.  It seemed like a waste.

  10. Albert Arthur

    But David Axelrod sent me an email this morning to tell me that Democrats were being outspent.

  11. Carol

    I am seeing ads for Obama constantly in Connecticut. While I was watching the Yankee game, there was an add every other inning. Why would he advertise in Connecticut?

  12. Frozen Chosen

    These stats are all pre-debate.  What I would like to see is some numbers or anecdotes about Romney’s advertising post debate.

     If he’s saturating the airwaves in the 30 days prior to the election that would seem like a sound strategy.  If he doesn’t, well, your guess is as good as mine!

  13. GirlWithAPearl

    No idea what to believe anymore but my response is to cough up another $50 for Team Romney. And another $50 for Veterans for a Strong America… have you seen this brand new 1 min. ad:

    WHITE HOUSE LEAKS THREATEN LIVES

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=I8jbhrQs-64

    Fight like your life depends on it, because it does. Give till you bleed, because your money won’t be worth anything a year from now if we don’t elect Mitt Romney.

  14. Kofola

    Not that my case proves anything, but….I live in a swing state and from what I gather as I fast forward my DVR past them is that there are quite a bit more Obama ads, although I do see a mix of both. Not very scientific, but alas…One thing I can confirm though is that I’ve received about 7-8 phone calls from Obama people harassing me in the past month…and none from Romney people.

  15. Barbara Kidder

    Mr. Judge:

    Your article was very interesting as were the many comments that have followed.

    I’m hoping to see you write a column on the ‘hidden factor’ of voter fraud BEFORE the election, rather than as a kind of post mortem.

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