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Obama Outspent Everyone In Wisconsin
WISCONSINREPORT.COM (02/22/08) - Democrat Barack Obama spent more than twice as much money on TV advertising in Wisconsin than all other candidates combined in the Wisconsin Presidential Primary and nearly five times as much as Hillary Clinton. The Obama campaign enjoyed a massive advantage in spots aired. Obama campaign commercials were on the air a full week earlier than Clinton. Obama aired his first Wisconsin ad one day after Super Tuesday, while the first Clinton ad did not appear until February 12. The wise campaign choices and stimulating speeches paid off big time for Obama, catapulting him further in the lead in the battle of primaries.
In the short Wisconsin primary campaign the four Democrat and Republican candidates for president aired over 8,000 spots in the Badger state spending approximately $2.1 million. Almost three out of four dollars spent on all presidential primary television advertising in Wisconsin was spent was by the Obama campaign with the Illinois Senator spending more than $1.5 million dollars to air almost 6,000 spots. Clinton spent a little over $300,000. Spending by Republicans John McCain and Mike Huckabee was significantly less with McCain spending $180,0000 and Huckabee spending $150,000.
All of the ads aired by Republican candidates McCain and Huckabee were positive, outlining their own positions and priorities. Half of Clinton ads had significant negative content while one quarter of Obama ads attacked or counterattacked Clinton.
These are among the findings of a new report from the University of Wisconsin Advertising Project that analyzed data obtained from the TNS Media Intelligence Campaign Media Analysis Group (TNSMI/CMAG). The report analyses political television advertising in five Wisconsin media markets (Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, Wassau, LaCrosse) from February 6 to February 19.
“Advertising can tell us much about the state of a campaign,” says Ken Goldstein, a political science professor and the director of the University of Wisconsin Advertising Project. “The fact that Clinton was outspent so significantly speaks to the financial situation she faces. Furthermore,” he adds, “her late entry and the inconsistency in the messages conveyed through advertising and in her speeches speaks to some confusion among Clinton strategists."
"Clinton needed to define Obama and for first time we saw significant negative advertising. Half of Clinton’s ads were contrast and they were largely attacks on Obama. That said, most observers believe that for Clinton to have a chance, she needs to disqualify Obama on the experience issue. Going after Obama for not debating or not being liberal enough on health care reform simply did not resonate with Wisconsin voters,” Ken Goldstein added.
The study also found:
• In what most political strategists consider a "change" election, Clinton ads never mentioned the word “change.” Obama ads mentioned change 1824 times.
• Hillary Clinton never mentioned experience in her ads, either.
• Except for the BCRA disclaimer taking responsibility for her ad, Clinton did not speak in any of her ads -- all were by voiced over by a narrarator. Meanwhile, virtually, all Obama ads featured the Illinois Senator speaking on his own behalf.
• There was no third party or interest group television advertising during the Wisconsin presidential primary.
• Both Democrats focused most of their advertising on health care. John McCain’s top issue was national defense and Mike Huckabee talked most often about abortion in his ads.
• Obama and McCain advertised disproportionately in Green Bay, while Obama was on the air a bit less often in La Crosse than elsewhere, as was Clinton in Wausau.
TOTAL BY MARKET: Airings: Money Spent
Green Bay: 2005: $370,000
La Crosse: 1338: $250,000
Madison: 1580: $425,000
Milwaukee: 1799: $850,000
Wausau: 1534: $220,000
SOURCE OF DATA IN TABLE: TNS Media Intelligence/CMAG with analysis by the Wisconsin Advertising Project.
Looking ahead, Goldstein observes “Both candidates up in Ohio and Texas. The tone and volume of Hillary Clinton ads will tell us much about the condition of her campaign. And to date, there are no negative ads in Texas nor Ohio.”
Using data obtained from the TNS Media Intelligence Campaign Media Analysis Group (TNSMI/CMAG), the University of Wisconsin Advertising Project codes and analyzes nearly all of the political advertising that is aired in 2008 federal and gubernatorial races across the country. The Ad Project, considered the single most important and credible source of information on campaign TV advertising, is funded in 2008 by a grant from the Joyce Foundation.
The Wisconsin Advertising Project codes political television advertising for sponsors, issues, tone, and numerous other characteristics – all in real time. While most of the attention will be focused on the presidential race in 2008, it also tracks candidate, party, and interest group advertisements in congressional, gubernatorial and other down ballot races nationwide, with a particular focus on the Midwest and the five states that comprise the Midwest Democracy Network (Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.) Findings will be released in a series of real time reports over the course of the campaign.
Ken Goldstein, professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the co-author of Campaign Advertising in American Democracy (Temple University Press), directs the Advertising Project. Goldstein has overall responsibility for the project and is available to work with media and policy makers during the entire course of the 2008 election year.
The Wisconsin Advertising Project coded virtually every significant political advertisement broadcast in the top 75 markets in 2000 and in the top 100 media markets from 2001 to 2004. In this process, using videos and storyboards of ads captured by TNSMI/CMAG, project staff first research the entity responsible for airing each separate political spot aired. In relation to campaign finance regulations as well as noting the names of sponsors, the project categorizes sponsors between those paid for by candidates, parties, hard money interest groups and soft money interest groups. Each spot is then further researched to attribute it to a specific candidate that the ad sponsors hope to elect. Once this is done, project staff codes the content of each ad, using a battery of questions.
This extensive coding allows for the compilation of a massive database of the content of commercials that can be used in a variety of ways by scholars, the media and policymakers.
The University of Wisconsin Advertising Project is affiliated with the university’s Political Science Department. This department is one of the nation’s oldest and most respected programs. It is highly ranked in national surveys and its award-winning faculty are known for innovative research on the discipline’s most current and important questions.
With a reputation for unbiased and non-partisan analysis, Goldstein is a favorite source for both politicians and the news media. He has appeared numerous times on NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Nightline, ABC World News Tonight, NBC Nightly News, CBS Evening News, FOX News Channel, MSNBC, CNBC and CNN, and is a frequent contributor on National Public Radio. He is also quoted extensively in the country’s top newspapers, including The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal.
Based in Chicago, with assets of $935 million, the Joyce Foundation funds groups working to strengthen public policies and improve the quality of life in the Great Lakes region. Its Money and Politics program supports efforts to promote a well-functioning representative democracy with open and accountable government, informed citizen participation, competition of ideas and candidates, fair and equal application of the laws, a high level of public trust and protection of fundamental rights. Other funding areas are education, workforce development, environment, gun violence prevention and culture.
TNS Media Intelligence/CMAG is the leading provider of advertising tracking and analysis of political public affairs and issue-advocacy advertising. TNSMI/CMAG provides customized media analysis services to national trade associations, foundations, Fortune 100 companies, national media organizations, academia and hundreds of national, statewide and local political campaigns.
Clients rely on TNSMI/CMAG’s experienced political researchers to assemble the most reliable, comprehensive research and reporting. TNSMI/CMAG’s customized reporting methods help its clients better manage their media strategy, media buys, public relations and communications efforts.