Post-election analysis finds ready audience among national media

Posted by scapozzola on 11/14/2012

What were the most mentioned issues in the 2012 presidential campaigns' TV advertising?  And in several key Senate races?

A post-election analysis conducted by Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group (CMAG) found that jobs, China, and outsourcing dominated TV campaign ads.

Yesterday, the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) released the findings of the Kantar study, and national media were quick to pick up on the story...

IndustryWeek's Steve Minter quoted AAM Executive Director Scott Paul as saying, "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."

National Journal's Matt Vasilogambros recognized that the presidential race was "fought over a dozen battleground states" but a "whole litany of manufacturing- and trade-focused ads concentrated on just a few states in the nation’s industrial core: Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin."

The Hill's Julian Pecquet pondered what this means for the coming legislative term, saying that the "White House and lawmakers should expect heightened pressure to get tough on trade following unprecedented China-bashing during the recent campaign."

U.S. News & World Report's Rebekah Metzler focused on the success of such messaging for President Obama and Democratic Senators: "Effective television advertising, lead [sic] by powerful spots highlighting domestic manufacturing jobs and demonizing corporate outsourcing, was a large part of how President Barack Obama earned re-election and Democrats successfully expanded their Senate majority."

The Quad City Times' Ed Tibbetts offered perhaps the most concise, accurate summary of the overall analysis: "The American factory played an unprecedented role in the 2012 presidential advertising war."

The Columbus Dispatch's Jessica Wehrman saw a renewed interest in manufacturing: "Four years after then-presidential candidate John McCain famously told a crowd in Youngstown that manufacturing jobs 'weren’t coming back,' manufacturing issues emerged as a key political issue in the 2012 elections."

The Wall Street Journal's Bob Davis recognized that China was "at the center of the U.S. presidential debates and other contentious election fights," and focused on the overall advertising budget for China messaging: "the two presidential campaigns spent a combined $45.7 million on television advertising that discussed China and trade. Additionally, candidates in four Senate elections tracked by the group – Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Indiana — spent another $8.6 million in China trade spots."

The Hill's Alexandra Jaffe looked at the overall campaign budgets: "The presidential campaigns and outside groups supporting them spent a monumental $588 million on ads focusing on jobs."

Read the full post-election analysis.

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