Spending Differences and the Role of Micro-Targeting in the 2008 Campaign
41 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2010 Last revised: 5 Sep 2010
Date Written: 2010
Scan the 2008 general election news accounts, review the televised ads, listen to the candidates. speeches, and you would think that abortion and embryonic stem cell research were off the candidates. radar screens. Yet out of earshot of the press and the pundits, both camps were employing the targeting advantages inherent in radio to insistently whisper warnings about these hot-button social issues to women. So for example, to draw back the white women voters who moved to Senator John McCain in the aftermath of the Republican convention a move motivated in part by enthusiasm about vice presidential pick Governor Sarah Palin, Senator Barrack Obama.s campaign aggressively attacked McCain and Palin as opponents of a woman.s right to choose. Rather than responding on abortion, the McCain campaign moved to certify his moderate instincts with ads reminding these voters that he supported federal funding of stem cell research. In this battle for the hearts of white women, Obama won the day by backing a microtargeted message with the significant audience delivery needed to shift votes. This paper tells the story of money in service of such targeted messages.
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