Tag Archives: Campaigns

Evaluating Campaign Ads — Roberts vs. Taylor vs. Orman

There is a three person race in Kansas involving US Senator Pat Roberts (R), Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor (D), and businessman Greg Orman (I).  Roberts has been United States Senator since 1997.

The above ad was run in the Republican primary, and not in the upcoming general election.  What is the purpose for such an ad?

The above ad is the first commercial for Taylor.  What is your impression of his opening ad?

Orman, as a third party candidate, is trying to demonstrate that he is different from both party candidates.  Do you believe that his ad makes the case?

Are You Paying Attention?

This November 2014, all 435 seats in the House, 36 seats in the Senate and 36 seats for Governor will be up for election.  In the House of Representatives, 234 seats are held by Republicans.  Democrats hold 199 seats.  Two seats are vacant.  In the United States Senate, 21 of the 36 seats are held by Democrats.  The other 15 are held by Republicans.  For Governor, Republicans find themselves defended 22 seats, while the Democrats will defend 14.  As the days slowly ease their way into the Fall months, men and women of all shapes and sizes will be bombarded by campaign advertisements.  Your attention will be drawn to the elections held in your state.

The question is:  Have you been paying attention to the 2014 midterm election already?  What is your interest level when it comes to elections in your area?




Evaluating Campaign Ads — Braley vs. Ernst

This is 2014 and it is an election year.  Every week, I will post ads from the Democratic and Republican candidates for office in those races that are considered to be competitive.  If there are third party candidates running, then I will post their ads as well.  This week’s two ads come from Iowa in the race for retiring US Senator Tom Harkin’s seat.  The Democrat in the race is Congressman Bruce Braley.  The Republican is Joni Ernst, a member of the Iowa State Senate.

Both ads, in this installment, are positive.

**What is Congressman Braley trying to convey in this ad?

**What message is State Senator Ernst trying to make in this ad?

**What are your overall impressions of each ad?


A Survey About Anthony Weiner

The Price of Politics

In the last federal campaign cycle, approximately 6 billion dollars was contributed to candidates or political committees by individuals.  This number does not include the dollars contributed to outside organizations, such as Political Action Committees (PACs) and Super PACs.  According to this article from the Washington Post, there is another astonishing number that must be addressed.  Of that 6 billion dollars, 28% of it was contributed by 31,385 people.  This means that 1% (one-tenth) of 1% of all Americans contribute 28% of the money to federal political campaigns and committees.

What are your thoughts after reading the article?  Should anything be done to limit contributions in political campaigns?  After all, there are limits in place.  The OpenSecrets website helps address that aspect.

Using Images In A Political Campaign

Political imagery is important in a campaign. Whether it is overt or subtle, candidates and their advisors understand that campaigns are emotional ventures and that voters respond to images even more so than the substance of a campaign. Messages are created to capture a voter’s attention. What images do you see consistently in political campaigns?  What do you believe is the purpose of using those images that you have seen?

What Makes A Negative Ad…Negative?

Not all negative political ads have to be accompanied by the requisite gloom and doom music and grainy black and white photos of a candidate.  Take this ad, for example, run by an independent organization (independent expenditure) for a US Senate race in Utah.

What makes this ad, “negative”?

Party Activism

Stanley Verba, et al. (1995), came up with three criteria as to why people get involved in party politics.  Whether or not someone has the financial resources to participate is one factor.  The second factor deals with whether or not someone is interested in a particular issue or candidate.  If a person has financial resources and is interested in an issue/a candidate, then they are more likely to participate in party politics.  The third factor deals with whether or not someone has asked an individual to participate.   Whether it is via phone or online, the ways that a party to a connect with a potential participant are vast.  It is that personal connection that can make individuals want to contribute their time and energy for a candidate or party.  If you fall into any of these three categories, then you are more likely to be identified as a “party activist“.

What has your involvement been in party politics?  Have you ever participated by working for a candidate or a political party?  What made you want to participate in that political campaign?

What Should A Presidential Candidate’s Resume Look Like?

Do Testimonial Ads Matter To You?

Here is a testimonial ad from the Frank Rizzo campaign for Mayor in 1987.  Rizzo was the former mayor of Philadelphia and this was his comeback campaign.  Rizzo lost to incumbent W. Wilson Goode in this election.

Do testimonial ads make a difference to you when you cast your vote on Election Day?  Why are testimonial ads used?