Destination 270

SMU Students Analyze the 2012 Presidential Election

Wisconsin Senate Race Advertising

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Because Wisconsin is a battleground state, it is among the pivotal areas being deluged by presidential campaign ads. And to add to Wisconsinites’ political advertising problems, because the Senate race is so close, advertising for this race has increased.

Baldwin, 50, reported having $3.5 million on hand at the beginning of October, while Thompson said he had nearly $2 million. But outside groups had spent $24.5 million as of Friday, mostly on attack ads, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Their messages appear to be working: 48% of likely voters in the Marquette poll agreed with the statement that Baldwin “is one of the most liberal members of Congress and is too liberal for Wisconsin” while 41% disagreed. When asked if “Tommy Thompson sold out to special interests and isn’t working for you anymore,” 49% of agreed; 41% disagreed.

Americans hate political advertisements. When asked if they are swayed by these advertisements the common answer is, “I am not effected by these ads, but I know that other Americans are.” This is called the priming effect, or the belief that something will effect others while you are immune. The priming effect appears to be in play in Wisconsin.

When likely voters were asked the following questions above, these voters did not get this information from the news or from their research. They got that information from negative ads run by the candidates opponent. While Americans do not believe they are being influenced, they actually are subconsciously.

Here are the negative ads that the information above were drawn from:


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