2008 TV

Obama benefited from his cash dominance in 2008. In the last week of that campaign, Obama spent $23.6 million on TV; McCain spent just $4.8 million. About 5 to 1. One study claims TV dominance creates as much as a 6% shift in voting [summary here]. Think about Obama’s 53% victory in Colorado; take away 6%.

That 6% level of boost, that the experts found, comes close to the bump Obama got post-convention. The same study found TV ads influence a viewer/voter significantly for a week (and less significantly for a few days after). And that explains why a convention bounce is short-lived.

One more point about 2008: McCain was profoundly behind in polls during those last critical weeks. As a result, plenty of Republicans stayed home.

Colorado TV and Polls – 2012

Here’s ads aired in Colorado (4/25 – 9/8), including all buyers:

                        Denver | Elsewhere

Romney          | 10,970 | 16,270

Obama           | 15,258 | 15,245

Total               | 26,228 | 31,515

 Obama Edge   | 4,288  | -1,025

Obama’s Lead  | 16%   |     -3%

Obama led in metro TV ad buys, with a near tie elsewhere.

During the weeks of the two national conventions, Obama’s forces put up 4,400 ads in Colorado. Romney had 1,800. Obama’s TV blitz fueled his poll numbers, not the public’s reaction to the conventions. Consider that the five Colorado polls taken in the first 15 days of August showed Obama ahead by a scant 0.6%, a statistical tie. [Special thanks to Wesleyan Media co-director and Washington State University Professor Travis N. Ridout for the Colorado data.]

Again, the Obama TV blitz paid off in about a 3% boost here in Colorado. Sadly for the MSM meme, the Denver Post’s SurveyUSA results show that burp in the polls is nearly a thing of the past. Instead of +5% for Obama (in the three days after the Dems’ convention), SurveyUSA has Obama exactly where he was before the blitz. And Rasmussen (9/17) shows Romney now ahead.

This shows the incredible power of cash when transformed into a crushing TV ad buy. What can we expect in the next seven weeks?