Political Strategists to Purchase More Local TV News Spots

We’re entering into the season of heavy media buying for political campaigns. Strategists are likely studying the best ways to make their TV buys in order to reach the right target demographics. Some campaign strategists may shift their media buys from national cable to local news TV because of the results of a recently published survey.

Analysts at TVB studied Nielsen Media Research data and determined that consumers over age 65 make up only 19% of the electorate but 50% of the primetime cable news audience. On the other hand, the  ‘core’ voter group which includes consumers between the ages of 35–54, comprises 40% of the electorate. In major markets, 32% of local early and late TV news viewers fall into the core group. For the major battleground states, 28% of these key voters are watching local news. Steve Lanzano, TVB president, points out that TV has long been the best format for candidates to reach voters. The big question now is how much of the TV budget should be distributed to local news programming versus cable. Lanzano questions the wisdom of a purchase strategy heavily weighted in cable TV which only reaches 22% of the core voter audience.

This analysis did not account for the fact that consumers over age 65 have one of the highest voting rates by age group. However, for candidates looking to connect with the largest group of potential voters, the strategy of shifting ad spending from national cable to local TV news seems sound.

Marketers may also want to target consumers who react to negative campaign ads. To learn more, check out the Audience Interests & Attitudes Report on Negative Political Advertising Responders from Ad-​ology.

[Source: Local TV News Tops Cable in Reaching Voters. Tvnewscheck​.com. 24 Aug. 2012. Web. 5 Sept. 2012] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.