The 2012 Presidential election is not until November, but campaigning is in full swing. Both parties have raised staggering amounts of money, with Obama edging out Romney, $587 million to $524 million. That’s over a billion dollars, and the conventions are just beginning.
With so much money raised, what are candidates spending it on? A hefty portion is going to advertising -- we’ve all seen the TV ads, the digital ads, and even ads in social media. And their target is an incredibly small slice of U.S. voters. A recent poll we undertook revealed that 67% of women, a majority of them moms, had already made up their minds about how they were going to vote, and another 17% were leaning heavily towards one candidate. So over $1 billion is targeted at only 16% of the population, the undecided.
And what does that small slice of the female audience think of the campaign ads? Not much, it turns out. They’re turned off by the pervasive negativity of attack ads, saying:
“I'd LOVE to see actual debate on the issues in campaign ads rather than name-calling. Didn't we really all outgrow that kind of conversation in grade school? If you can't convince me to vote for you on your merits alone, you certainly won't convince me by telling me what a jerk your opponent is.”
“… I hope when people vote, they are informed and not influenced by all of the ridiculous ads.”
So today’s money-infused, advertising heavy political process is turning off the very female voters it’s trying to convince. What’s on the top of mom voter’s minds? It’s not just jobs and the economy, but issues that are nearest and dearest to mom’s heart:
“Even though I am not thrilled with either [candidate], I will vote for the one that I know cares about women and children the most.”