Political advertising is big business during any election cycle, but how much does it actually impact voters? Apparently, not all that much.
It would appear that even voters who reluctantly head to the polls, but have been decided for a while, aren’t swayed all that much by commercials urging them to switch sides.
WDTN out of Ohio reports:
Political science professor at Wright State University Lee Hannah said there’s a method to the madness.
“They’re full of layers. If they can be humorous that’s more memorable. If they can elicit fear that’s more memorable. So they’re thinking about all these emotions that they can pull out of someone in 30 seconds to a minute,” Hannah said.
To date Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have spent well over $300 million combined on campaign ads throughout the race. With the bulk of the spending being done in battleground states like Ohio— who saw nearly $30 million in political ads.
Similar to Super Bowl commercials, at their best, they can be funny, insightful, entertaining and at times infuriating works of art that will hopefully push voters to the polls.
“And that’s one reason why we see so many of them. It’s another reason why though, especially if you’re decided, you just turn away, at some point it becomes really frustrating,” Hannah said.
Toward the end of campaign seasons, most of us tune out when we see a political ad. It’s doubtful that ads ever cause enough voters to switch their support in a way that will dramatically shift any race. Since that’s most likely the case, $300 million is quite a lot of money to spend in order to make sure supporters stay on your side.
As with debates, political ads are only little snippets of the candidates as a whole. We’ve always known who Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are as individuals. Those able to be swayed by 30 second to 1 minute ads might change their vote yet again while standing in the ballot box.
Sounds like hundreds of millions of dollars wasted to me.