A Referendum on Character: New Report on 2016 Presidential Campaign Ads

cpccl-bannerThe University of Maryland’s Center for Political Communication & Civic Leadership is pleased to release its report on the campaign ads from the 2016 presidential campaign. A Report on Presidential Advertising and the 2016 General Election: A Referendum on Character analyzes over 80 campaign ads from the 2016 campaign. The report concludes 1) that campaign ads in 2016 were more character-based than issue-based; 2) that both Clinton and Trump relied on fear and anger appeals in their ads; and 3) that the takeaway message of the 2016 campaign ads is that neither candidate is fit to lead and these character attacks in the 2016 ads will make governing difficult no matter the election’s outcome.

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2016 Ad Analyses from PARC

dt-adIn the final weeks of the 2016 election campaign, the University of Maryland’s Political Advertising Resource Center will post new analyses of some of the most compelling political commercials running on televisions across the country. First up: analyses of two Donald Trump ads entitled “Two Americas: Immigration” and “Movement” by UM ad analysts Kyle Stephan and Prashanth Bhat. New ad analyses of Hillary for America ads (“Just One” and “Role Models”) by UM analysts Alyson Farzad, Nora Murphy, Claudia Serrano Rico, Rebuilding America Now’s “America Soaring,” and Priorities USA Action’s “I Love War,” by UM analysts Gareth Williams and Morgan Hess.

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More Ad Analyses from the 2014 Midterms

Wolf AdPARC analysts continue to examine ads from campaigns across the country. With the 2014 midterm elections approaching fast, PARC now includes new analyses of political spots sponsored by the National Republican Congressional Committee for a campaign in AZ-1 and another commercial in the Pennsylvania gubernatorial campaign (left). And PARC has more analyses from the competitive and controversial Texas gubernatorial campaign (from both the Davis campaign and the Abbott campaign). Update: New analyses of ads from Iowa’s senate raceOregon’s senate race, and the NY-11 congressional campaign.

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2014 Ad Analyses: From Campaigns in Texas, California, and Alaska

DeMaio AdNew PARC analyses from the dynamic gubernatorial race in Texas the focuses on a Wendy Davis spot and from Texans for Greg Abbott. Another analysis addresses an ad from a hotly contested congressional race in California featuring Carl DeMaio (left). Another analysis comes from the competitive Senate campaign in Alaska that discusses an ad by Republican Dan Sullivan. And finally, analyses from Kansas’s gubernatorial campaign and Maryland’s gubernatorial campaign.

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More PARC Analyses from the 2014 Campaign

New PARC analyses of the ads from the 2014 midterm elections are now available. Two analyses from the highly competitive Senate race in Kentucky include discussions of an ad from Alison Lundergan Grimes highlighting her abilities as a skeet shooter and an independent ad from VoteVets Action Fund attacking Mitch McConnell. Another analysis examines the now famous ad from Joni Ernst in Iowa (right) that highlights her personal history as a pig farmer.

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First PARC Analyses for 2014

election2014Election Day 2014 is just around the corner and PARC analysts are analyzing and discussing ads from campaigns across the country. Now posted are new analysis of an ad from the U.S. Senate campaign in Colorado, an analysis of an ad from the gubernatorial campaign in Pennsylvania, and an analysis of an ad from “the Brad Pitt” of politics, Stewart Mills from Minnesota.

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New PARC Analyses

As the 2012 presidential election comes to a close, PARC analysts continue to analyze and discuss ads from the campaign. Now posted are analyses of two recent spots from the Obama campaign on education and Governor Romney’s record as a venture capitalist. Also posted are new analyses of a parody spot from Funny or Die and a anti-Obama spot from the group Campaign for American Values.

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First PARC Ad Analyses of ’12

The first analyses from the Political Advertising Resource Center for the 2012 presidential election are now available. The new postings include an analysis of an ad from President Obama defending his energy record by Yvonne Slosarski, an analysis of an a positive Mitt Romney ad about “growing up” in Michigan by Jade Olson, an analysis of a negative spot from Rick Santorum authored by Jessica Lu, and an analysis of a Ron Paul commercial by Elia Powers.

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Attacking Newt

Newt Gingrich’s surge in the Republican polls this late in the primary season seems to have his competitors concerned–and that means the negative ads are starting to appear. For Ron Paul, Newt is a “hypocrite” in this ad:

Rick Perry lumps Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and President Obama together as all consistent supporters of mandated health care:

Gingrich’s response is a very conventional one. Candidates facing attack typically respond with the standard “all the others are busy attacking–I want to solve America’s problems.”

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“Morning Again” from Newt Gingrich

New ad(s) from Newt Gingrich–the emerging frontrunner in the 2012 Republican nomination contest. The ad capitalizes on a fundamental tenet of campaigning–the more optimistic candidate usually wins.

What’s also interesting is how the ad employs different soundtracks in different versions. The above version (posted on YouTube and used by the NYT in its column on the ad) uses music from the motion picture Rudy, evoking the emotions stirred by that film–an underdog tale of a undersized kid from the wrong-side of the tracks who gets to play football for Notre Dame. But the version posted on the Gingrich Web site uses different music. Whichever soundtrack is used, the basic message of the ad is clear–it can be “morning again in America” if Gingrich is elected. Powerful nostalgia, hearkening to Reagan.

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