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Ohio, Cleveland Dominated In Campaign Ads Focused On Jobs And Trade

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Ohio saw some of the largest campaign advertising expenditures of the 2012 election, and manufacturing and jobs dominated those ads. Ideastream's Bill Rice reports.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 5:54 am

Jobs and trade played an exponentially bigger role in the 2012 election compared to 2008, according to a study commissioned by the Alliance for American Manufacturing that focused on five races - the presidential race, and senate races in Indiana, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Ads dwelled on joblessness, the auto bailout, and the impact of shipping jobs or importing products from overseas - especially China, says Elizabeth Wilner, Vice President of Kantar Media, which did the research. The factory was the dominant non-human image in ads. And, Wilner says, Ohio achieved almost mythical status as the lynchpin for claiming the presidency.

Wilner: "Ohio markets in general with Cleveland in particular just completely dominated in terms of presidential ads spending and presidential ads spot count on all of these issues we are talking about. Across all the markets that saw presidential ads this year, Cleveland ranked either the highest or the second highest on spending and spot counts for ads about jobs, trade, China trade and the anti-Bain advertising."

Republicans outspent and out-aired Democrats on ads that mentioned jobs, the study concludes, but the Democrats' ad messaging was more effective.

Editor's note: Just by way of illustration - of all media markets nationwide, that study ranked Cleveland second in campaign ads that mentioned jobs, with about $37 million spent and nearly 34,000 ads aired. Cleveland was first in ads mentioning China.