Record amounts of money went to purchase television advertising during the 2012 election cycle, resulting in unprecedented volumes of advertising. This increase was due in part to the ease with which outside groups, such as super PACs, were able to raise and spend advertising dollars in the current, post-Citizens United, regulatory regime. Advertising in 2012 was also extremely negative, especially at the presidential level, and frequently evoked the emotion of anger. Yet whether 2012 marks the high point for spending on advertising – and whether the negativity will abate in the next presidential election – remain open questions.
About the authors
Erika Franklin Fowler is Assistant Professor of Government at Wesleyan University and Co-Director of the Wesleyan Media Project. She specializes in political communication – local media and campaign advertising in particular – and her work on local news coverage of politics and policy has been published in political science, communication, law/policy, and medical journals.
Travis N. Ridout is Thomas S. Foley Distinguished Professor of Government and Public Policy and Associate Professor in the School of Politics, Philosophy and Public Affairs at Washington State University. He is also co-director of the Wesleyan Media Project. He is author of The Persuasive Power of Campaign Advertising (Temple University Press, 2011).
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