Tag Archives: 1952

Ad from the Past: Eisenhower for President

The first Presidential campaign to utilize television as a campaign ad medium was for Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952.  General Eisenhower was not the most telegenic candidate, but his campaign team made it clear that they would do whatever it could to reach as many people as possible through television.  Most of Eisenhower’s ads were positive in content.  Here is one of them:

What present day campaign ad techniques are also found in the Eisenhower ad from 1952?

Incumbent Presidential Vote Totals

President Barack Obama, as of this post, received 60,892,345 popular votes in his Presidential re-election bid.  This was down from the 69 million votes+ he received in 2008.  This is not the first time an incumbent President who was   re-elected for another term received fewer popular votes in his next go around than in his previous election.  The last that this happened was in 1944 when Franklin D. Roosevelt received fewer votes in his fourth bid for the Presidency than in his third.  The last time before that?  Roosevelt once again in 1940.  Here are the victorious incumbent Presidents and their popular vote totals in back to back elections.

Andrew Jackson

1828:  642,533; 1832:  701,780

Abraham Lincoln

1860:  1,855,593; 1864:  2,218,388

Ulysses S. Grant

1868:  3,013,790; 1872:  3,598,235

William McKinley

1896:  7,102,246; 1900:  7,228,864

Woodrow Wilson

1912:  6,296,284; 1916:  9,126,868

Franklin D. Roosevelt

1932:  22,821,277; 1936:  27,752,648; 1940:  27,313,945; 1944:  25,612,916

Dwight D. Eisenhower

1952:  34,075,529; 1956:  35,579,180

Richard Nixon

1968:  31,783,783; 1972:  47,168,710

Ronald Reagan

1980:  43,903,230; 1984:  54,455,472

Bill Clinton

1992:  44,909,806; 1996:  47,400,125

George W. Bush

2000:  50,460,110; 2004:  62,040,610

Barack Obama

2008:  69,498,215; 2012:  60,892,345

What accounts for the drop in Obama’s total from 2012 to 2008?

Political Advertising

Here is one of the earliest political campaign television advertisements.  It is from 1952 and it promotes the candidacy of then-General Dwight D. Eisenhower. Eisenhower’s campaign was the first to effectively use television as a mode of political communication.  What techniques do you see here in the ad that would capture the attention of the voting public?  What techniques are used in campaign ads today to capture the public’s attention?