Destination 270

SMU Students Analyze the 2012 Presidential Election

Last Minute Persuasion

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With 3 weeks left until election night, the Romney and Obama campaigns are targeting undecided voters. Potent messaging, vivid emotional appeals, and pressing visuals are the means by which Romney and Obama hope to influence voters with their campaign.

“I have pretty much stopped turning the TV on,” said Sue Smith, a resident of Westerville, a Columbus, Ohio suburb.

“The phone rings three or four times a night and I’m screening calls,” she said. “If something comes in the mail, it goes straight in the recycling.”

Republican nominee Mitt Romney is banking heavily on a high-risk, high-reward media strategy in the final weeks of the campaign, hoping that burying President Obama in ads will give them a crucial edge on Election Day.

Brad Todd, a Republican media strategist, said he suspects that the big push at the end is designed to reach voters displeased with Obama but unwilling to embrace Romney.

At the end of this election season, the campaigns and independent groups will have spent about $1.1 billion on television advertising this year, with $750 million allocated solely for swing states.

Television ads can most certainly sway a voters perception of a candidate, without a doubt. The real result to observe will be whether the campaigns receive a return on investment for the over $1 billion that is being shelled out during this election season.

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