New report finds manufacturing, China, and outsourcing dominated 2012 political TV advertising

Posted by LDonia on 11/13/2012

Today, the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) released a post-election analysis of jobs, China, and outsourcing as key messages in recent campaign ads.

Conducted by Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group (CMAG) for AAM, the report analyzes broadcast TV advertising airtime devoted to the presidential race as well as key Senate races in four industrial states: Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. The analysis was based on advertising tracked in all 210 U.S. media markets as well as on 11 national broadcast networks and more than 80 national cable networks.

According to AAM Executive Director Scott Paul, “Both the Democratic and Republican candidates spent a stunning amount of money on television advertising to convince voters that they could best represent the interests of America’s manufacturers and their workers. Obviously they latched on to the right issues because jobs and outsourcing are absolute, top-of-mind issues. Across the partisan spectrum, these issues move voters.”

The study found that nearly 1 million ad occurrences focused on jobs, trade and outsourcing.

Some other interesting study findings:

  • “Jobs” was the most-mentioned issue in 2012 advertising by far, not just in the five races but in federal races overall.

  • Republicans outspent and out-aired Democrats on jobs. In all five races, Republicans spent more money and had higher spot count rates than Democrats on advertising that mentioned “jobs.” Yet, despite being outspent and out-aired, Democrats’ messaging on jobs proved more effective.

  • Democrats’ ads about jobs focused on businesses that sent jobs overseas and laid off workers, which explains why the two sides’ spending and spot-count levels on jobs were closer to parity in the Presidential contest but much further apart in the Senate races. While Bain Capital’s business practices were a major theme of advertising in the race for the White House, the issue was exclusive to that race.

Read the entire report.

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