Key Political TV Advertising States: Don't Mean A Thing Without That Swing

With a little more than four months to go before the Presidential election, we wonder where and what kind of messaging will seek to move TV viewers who are also political voters.

One key element is the focus on so-called “swing” voters' use of TV-video platforms as a clue in what polls say will be a close election. All that might mean more political advertising dollars headed to streamers.

Cross Screen Media says those voters -- which also include "independent" voters -- are reachable on both streaming and linear TV (42%) and connected TV-only (31%).  



Both these categories are higher than for Republicans and Democratic voters. In particular 24% of Republican voters are reachable only by linear TV, with 16% “unreachable”--- the highest levels when compared to swing and Democrat voters.

Analysts talk about key groups including suburban women, young Gen-Zers, and Black voters as being prime targeted voting audiences. 

All that would suggest that a wide range of media platforms would be under consideration for political media platforms ready to ramp up after Labor Day.

But would that mean more social media, streaming platforms, or traditional linear TV outlets?  

Some might believe social media in particular might still be the source of misinformation and disinformation. And yet social media platforms are still heavily used by all U.S. consumers, around 60% use social media in some form on a semi-regular basis. 

Overall local TV will continue to get a big piece as voters still turn to live, linear TV news networks and stations during big political election seasons.

Industry estimates say linear TV political ad spending will still account for a great deal of spending. eMarketer says 57% ($7.06 billion) of all political ad spending ($12 billion) will go to linear TV.

In that linear TV bucket, much will continue to be driven by the local TV marketplace -- especially in those key swing states that include Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Message-wise? We’ll probably see the obvious touchpoints.

For Biden: A strong -- but not perfect -- economy, and well as criticizing Trump for his 34 convictions of criminal intent. For Trump: Immigration issues, fewer regulations for business, and big tax cuts for business and everyone.

What platforms best to get those key voting groups will be tricky granular media exercise. Perhaps the key word here is what all digital and connected TV platforms have been touting as strong elements of their respective platforms ad performance: Engagement.

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