Tuesday, December 10, 2013

New Media Market Maps Offer Unique Look at Voters

Successful political ad strategy needs to go deeper than red and blue states to match voter demographics and views with media markets and costs. How does that redraw the American political map? Now, as reported in a recent Washington Post article, leading Democratic media firm GMMB and Civis Analytics have crunched 2012 election data to create that kind of mapping for the first time. Their mapping shows every U.S. media market in terms of political leanings, voter demographics, upcoming 2014 races and likely ad costs, and even the percentage of uninsured, which may influence how markets line up on the health-care debate. Their maps deliver some surprise results. Looking back on the Obama-Romney presidential race reveals that President Obama’s best media market wasn’t in a liberal enclave like San Francisco but rather in tiny Laredo, TX. Obama beat Romney by 54 points along that stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border. Why? More than 90% of voters in Laredo are Hispanic, a particularly pro-Obama group. In contrast, Romney did best in north Texas, in the Abilene-Sweetwater market, where he beat Obama by 60 points. Looking to 2014, when the Affordable Care Act may be a hot issue, both parties and independent PACs will be paying attention to media markets with large portions of uninsured. Since the political map shows that more than 20% of the population remains uninsured in large swaths of the West and Southwest, along with chunks of the South, watch for ACA-related ad spends there. For a chance to look at the GMMB-Civis maps in detail for different variables, go to http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2013/12/03/the-2012-election-results-by-media-market/

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