A new study conducted by the Wesleyan Media Project found that ineffective advertising, including messages they claim were “devoid of policy discussions,” likely played a role in Hillary Clinton’s 2016 election loss to Donald Trump.
New research has found that Hillary Clinton’s loss in the 2016 presidential election may have been related to her campaign’s ineffective use of advertising.
According to a news release, the Wesleyan Media Project study concluded that “Clinton’s unexpected losses came in states in which she failed to air ads until the last week.”
Graphs of TV ads in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania show late-term spikes by Clinton’s campaign which were much more pronounced than those in favor of Trump.
The release also says the paper determined that “Clinton’s message was devoid of policy discussions in a way not seen in the previous four presidential contests.”
The team analyzed the contents of advertising during the presidential races dating back to 2000; compared to her fellow Republican and Democratic candidates, Clinton appeared to spend the most time on personal issues and the least amount of time on policy.
Nevertheless, the study points out that the 2016 election was not typical in its use of advertising which the authors attribute to “the unusual nature of the presidential campaign with one unconventional candidate and the other using an unconventional message strategy, among other non-advertising related factors.”
Although the impact of advertising in 2016 on the outcome of the general election race was likely minimal, we urge caution in concluding that television advertising is no longer effective.”