Political Media Buying 2018: Late September Update – Where Does Radio Fit?

Contributor: Leo Kivijarv, Ph.D., Executive Vice President & Director of Research of PQ Media

Similar to 2016, the use of past trends to predict the outcome of an election that have been applicable for decades are now void. Thus, “it’s about the economy, stupid,” coined by Democratic strategist James Carville during the 1992 Bush-Clinton presidential election, should have been important in the 2018 election – it is not. Although the economy strengthened during the summer, which normally is an indication that the incumbent party will maintain control, the Republican Party continued its downward spiral during that period. It was not uncommon over the past three months to look at polls, and subsequent political forecasting websites each week, and find a House, Senate and/or gubernatorial seat considered safe in July had shifted to being likely, leaning or tilting Republican, which meant that the lead over the Democratic candidate had shrunk substantially. Furthermore, too many Republican seats that were likely, leaning or titling Republican in July have become toss-ups, while other Republican seats that were toss-ups in July shifted to likely, leaning or tilting Democratic. For example, one political forecaster switched 11 Republican safe seats in July to likely, leaning or tilting Republican in September. Another forecaster expanded the number of toss-ups from 24 to 30 seats during that period, with the Republicans bearing all the bad news. It should be noted that it wasn’t six new Republican seats that became toss-ups – it was more – as numerous toss-ups in July are likely, leaning, and tilting Democratic in September. Meanwhile, the Democratic party gleefully watched some of the Democratic toss-up seats become likely, leaning or tilting Democratic, as well as likely, leaning or titling Democratic seats in July that are now safe seats in September.

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room once more – control of Congress. Have the odds changed dramatically during the last three months that will allow the Democrats to regain the majority in both the Senate and House? Has the addition of new candidates, once thought safe, resulted in candidates and SuperPacs raising more money? If the answer is yes to the previous question, are there certain media platforms that will benefit from the rise in political media buying?

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Political Media Buying 2018:
Where Does Radio Fit?

Contributor: Leo Kivijarv, Ph.D., Executive Vice President & Director of Research, PQ Media

Last week’s post laid the groundwork for the current state of elections in 2018.  This post covers radio’s revenue opportunity for attracting political spending.

One of the biggest debates on political media buying is the potential shift from traditional media to digital and other alternative marketing platforms. There are two trains of thought.

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Where Does Radio Fit?”

2018 Political Landscape

Contributed by: Leo Kivijarv, Ph.D., Executive Vice President & Director of Research, PQ Media

There are many unanswered questions as the 2018 campaign begins in earnest.

      • First, experts disagree on whether federal and local candidates will emulate the unconventional media buying strategies employed by Donald Trump in 2016 by relying heavily on free “earned media” from tweets.
      • Second, there is still some disagreement as to how much fundraising will rise or fall compared to previous years, given the increase in political activism immediately after last year’s election.
      • Third, some believe analysis of early results of recent elections is a harbinger of the November elections in which Republican strongholds have elected a Democrat, such as Doug Jones in Alabama.

The elephant in the room is control of Congress. Can the growing discontent in the United States result in the Democrats regaining the majority in both the Senate and House? Will candidates and Super PACs raise more money than previously recorded as a result? Therein lies the major driver that will determine political spending during the year. Other drivers that will contribute to the final political media buying total include a high number of toss-up gubernatorial races, controversial ballot initiatives, and the rising interest in which party controls the various state legislatures.

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Is Radio Ready for 2018’s Political Advertising Bonanza?

Today’s blog post is courtesy of Gordon Borrell, CEO, Borrell Associates

A radio owner yawned the other day when I told him about the record year ahead for political advertising — $8.5 billion in all, and all headed for local markets. “We have music stations,” he said… “Political isn’t really something we pursue.”

I’m sure people who listen to music are also voters. And I’m pretty sure that, in a world where big bucks are being thrown at persuasion marketing, radio’s personal connection with listeners makes it perhaps the most persuasive medium.

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Closing the 2016 Political Year

Today’s blog post is courtesy of Leo Kivijarv, Ph.D., Executive Vice President & Director of Research of PQ Media

As stated in our previous guest blog posts, this was a strange year given the Trump candidacy. He spent significantly lower on media advertising and marketing than previous presidential candidates on most media platforms, with the exceptions of digital, event marketing, promotional products, public relations & word-of-mouth. Continue reading “Closing the 2016 Political Year”

Only 17 Days Left!

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In seventeen more days we’ll know who will be leading this country for the next four years.  As we approach November 8, there is still time for candidates to reach voters and particularly those that are still undecided.  Also, given the events that have occurred in the past few weeks, political advertising dollars have seen some shifts, but not with radio.

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