Waging campaigns on television: optimizing target audience exposure in the modern campaign
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] There have been claims that have come out of the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections which describe the rise of a professionalized political campaign television strategy team that is able to make decisions not only based on the media market a campaign ad runs in but also based on station/network, time of day, and TV program. In this study, I discuss the development of political media buying, the current business-driven network that political media buyers operate in, and how audiences consume television when looked at from a partisan and voting-likelihood perspective. I end this discussion with a look at partisan candidate strategies in 2012 and argue that campaigns are increasing their investment in mobilizable partisan-supporters over potentially persuadable high turnout voters. While media buying is a volatile climate with certain norms in place, campaigns do attempt to use television advertising to activate base party supporters to minimize wasteful spending. Using advertising from the 2012 Presidential and competitive Senate candidate campaigns, I show results that indicate campaigns may be optimizing the reach of mobilizable voters. I also show that Republicans and Democrats may be pursuing differing strategies using the television medium.