Anti-Obamacare Ads Dominate GOP Ad Buys in October

Obamacare by from The Weekly Standard, October 28, 2014

Without offering an alternate theory for President Obama’s 42 percent approval rating — which was about the same even before it became obvious his foreign policy had tanked — the mainstream media is insisting that Obamacare isn’t driving this election.  But Republican ads in Senate races say otherwise.

According to Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group (CMAG), Republicans ran nearly 12,000 anti-Obamacare ads in Senate races during the week of October 13-19. That’s almost twice as many ads as they ran on jobs/unemployment, more than twice as many as they ran on international affairs, and more than three times as many as they ran on taxes. In fact, it’s more than they ran on jobs/unemployment, taxes, and social issues combined.  It’s also more than they ran on jobs/unemployment and immigration combined.

The top-5 issues for the GOP in Senate races for the week of October 13-19 were as follows:

  1. Obamacare (nearly 12,000 ads)
  2. Budget/Government Spending (nearly 9,000 ads)
  3. Energy/Environment (nearly 7,000 ads)
  4. Jobs/Unemployment (more than 6,000 ads)
  5. Immigration (nearly 5,000 ads)

A week earlier, the pattern was basically the same—as Republicans ran over 11,000 anti-Obamacare ads.  These were the GOP’s top-5 issues in Senate races for the week of October 6-12:

  1. Obamacare (more than 11,000 ads)
  2. Jobs/Unemployment (more than 9,000 ads)
  3. Budget/Government Spending (more than 8,000 ads)
  4. Energy/Environment (more than 6,000 ads)
  5. Medicare (nearly 6,000 ads)

Of course, Obamacare also directly affects jobs/unemployment, the budget/government spending, and Medicare, even when ads on those topics don’t mention it by name.

Given that Obamacare is the signature legislation of this class of Senate Democrats, what about pro-Obamacare ads?  Summarizing CMAG’s findings for October 6-12, Elizabeth Wilner writes, “CMAG also classifies ads as ‘pro-ACA,’ and we have seen more such ads popping up lately, but their collective spot count for the week didn’t come close to the number required to make the top 15.”

In a heartening display of bipartisanship, however, Democrats did run about 500 anti-Obamacare ads.

 © 2014 Weekly Standard LLC. Reprinted with permission.