Shedding new light on presidential campaign TV ads

Center for Public Integrity adds new features to interactive messaging tracker



The Center for Public Integrity has added a new feature to its "Tracking TV ads in the 2016 presidential race" interactive graphic that illuminate how Democrat Hillary Clinton is walloping Republican Donald Trump on the airwaves.

The updated ad tracking tool now allows readers to explore how candidates and their allies — super PACs, political parties and the like — have bombarded potential voters with political messages since the presidential race's general election phase effectively began in mid-June.

Among the notable takeaways during the general election:

  • Presidential campaigns, along with organizations advocating for or against presidential candidates, have already aired more than 104,000 TV ads on broadcast and national cable outlets.
  • Clinton and her political allies — primarily supportive super PACs — account for more than 90 percent of all TV ads. Clinton's own campaign leads all organizations with nearly 68,000 ad spots aired. Next is pro-Clinton super PAC Priorities USA Action, with more than 25,000 ad spots.
  • Trump's campaign hasn't aired a single TV ad during the general election, although that will soon change, as Trump is planning a significant TV ad blitz. To date, only about 7,000 TV ads have been sponsored by a pair of pro-Trump groups — the NRA Political Victory Fund and the Rebuilding America Now super PAC.
  • Live in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania or Virginia? You're enduring the brunt of the presidential TV ad blitz so far. Floridians alone have seen more than 23,500 ads — more than residents of any other state.

The "Tracking TV ads in the 2016 presidential race" interactive graphic will be updated weekly throughout the general election using data provided by ad tracking firm Kantar Media/CMAG.

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