Independent voices from the TWT Communities
One million ads. More than $1 billion. Ten battleground states. Never before has so much money been spent on so many commercials aimed at so few voters.
One of American democracy's most annoying sideshows — campaign TV commercials — abruptly will end in less than two weeks on Election Day, but not before setting some all-time records.
A record-breaking 915,000 presidential campaign ads have aired on broadcast and cable TV from late April through Sunday — a 45 percent increase compared with the 2008 election.
During the 2008 presidential race, Barack Obama described negative campaigning as the refuge of candidates who "don't have a record to run on." Four years later, President Obama is going negative on Republican opponent Mitt Romney with a vengeance.
"Fewer people are witnessing the onslaught than ever before. The ones that are are getting carpet bombed," Ms. Fowler said.
"The decline of television advertising hasn't happened, and it's not going away anytime soon," said Erika Franklin Fowler, director of the Wesleyan University Media Project which tracks campaign advertising. "TV is where you look for the persuadable voter, and the Internet is what you use to mobilize your base."