New political spending in changing TV landscape

A domestic colour television set on a pedestal.

November’s congressional elections are still months away, but the Republican National Committee is launching a six-figure ad campaign this week. It’s spending a chunk of the money on cable ads, even though people aren’t  glued to live TV like they used to be. 

“Nearly 30 percent, so almost one in three voters, said they watched no live TV other than sports in the past week,” says Julie Hootkin, with the Democratic polling firm Global Strategy Group which released a survey last week of voter viewing habits. Robert Blizzard, of the Republican firm Public Opinion Strategies, is a co-author, and says even if live TV viewership is in decline, "that’s where a bulk of the campaign voter contacts should go."

"But you can’t ignore that other 30 percent anymore because that’s the number that’s growing,” he says.

Maybe that's why there’s a digital component to the new RNC ads.

About the author

Nancy Marshall-Genzer is a senior reporter for Marketplace based in Washington, D.C. covering daily news.

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