Three Million Political Ads Aired in 2012 Election

Politico covered a new analysis released by the Wesleyan Media Project about advertising in the 2012 election. Two new papers by the Project co-directors published in The Forum: A Journal of Applied Research on Contemporary Politics reported that more than 3 million political ads aired in the last election season for presidential and congressional candidates, representing a 33 percent increase in volume and an 81 percent increase in cost over the 2008 election. “We knew it was going to be a record-breaking year,” Assistant Professor of Government Erika Franklin Fowler told Politico. “It was just a question of how record breaking it would be.”

NPR also covered the new analysis. Fowler told NPR that the record numbers of ads “were crammed into just a few key battleground markets. If you were in one of those markets, you were getting inundated from May right up through election day, whereas if you were outside of those markets, you didn’t really see very many presidential ads, if [any] at all.”

Read more about the analysis in a blog post by Fowler.