With midterm election polls opening in less than 48 hours, candidates across the country are in their final push to convince Americans to vote for them – using sophisticated advertising schemes to appeal to their constituents, which vary greatly depending on geographic location across the country.
To that end, Bloomberg‘s Demetrios Pogkas and David Ingold used data from the Nielsen Company to analyze over 3 million election ads for 2018 congressional and gubernatorial races across 210 local television markets in order to get a sense of what matters to whom, and where.
Just because a topic isn’t the top issue in a market doesn’t mean it’s not being discussed. Social issues for example, which include things such as civil rights and abortion, may be the most-mentioned topic in only six markets, but it’s mentioned at least once in 95 percent of all markets.
But not all topics are a staple of campaign pitches nationwide. An issue such as public safety—which includes ads about threats posed by migrants seeking asylum at the southern border, for instance—is a top topic in many of the markets in Texas, but mentioned far less elsewhere. – Bloomberg
Let’s drill down by issue:
Health Care and Prescription Drugs
Over 1.2 million ads have mentioned health care, while almost 75% of those ads are from Democrats. The message from the left is essentially “a vote for Democrats is a vote to save or expand protections under the Affordable Care Act.” Republican healthcare ads, meanwhile, revolve around promises to protect preexisting conditions.
While Democrats are campaigning on health care, Republicans are focusing on taxes – with over 570,000 ads mentioning the GOP reforms – nearly double the number of tax-related ads run by Democrats.
Despite passing a major tax cut earlier this year, Republican ads in October that mentioned taxes were seven times more likely to be negative than positive. Republicans instead have used the topic to tell voters that Democrats will raise taxes next year if they gain control of the House and Senate. –Bloomberg