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.”