Republicans Watch Sports, Democrats Watch Talk Shows, According to Political Ad Buys


Republican political ads run mostly during sports programming and crime dramas, while Democrats prefer talk shows and sitcoms, according to a report in Sunday’s New York Times. While the most popular and bipartisan show is Dancing With the Stars, Republican ad buyers dig on Saturday Night College Football, NCIS, Law & Order and NASCAR races. Ads by Democrat are more likely to be seen during Two and a Half Men, Dr. Phil, Rachel Ray and The Dr. Oz Show. Basically, it’s all very simplistic with Republicans targeting men and Democrats targeting women.

With political advertising hitting the $3 billion mark ahead of Tuesday’s elections, the Times decided to break down a month of programming. The results showed a big Republican bias toward sports:

“College sports is probably the cleanest buy for Republicans, or the buy where they’re getting the biggest advantage,” said Ken Goldstein, the research director for the Midwest Media Research Foundation. “Republicans think their base is more likely to be watching sports, and if they’re looking for younger males, or younger white males, it’s college football.”

Republicans also out-advertised Democrats on crime shows, placing roughly one-third more ads on shows like “Detroit 1-8-7,” “Medium,” “Cops,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “48 Hours Mystery” and “NCIS.”

For Democrats it’s “contemporary comedy” and daytime talk shows. Lady stuff:

Evan Tracey, the president of the Campaign Media Analysis Group, said that talk programs were “the opposite of sports.”

“Women and especially single women are a very reliable voting bloc for Democrats,” he said. “That’s why you see a lot of Democrats being aimed at in those programs. That’s an important turnout audience for them.”

That said, everyone — especially old people — likes Dancing With the Stars.

Where Parties Look for an Audience [NYT]

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