And it’s not just TV…


As reports emerge of Barack Obama far outspending John McCain’s campaign in key battleground states, Democracy Corps and Greenberg Quinlan Rosner’s survey in the presidential battleground states shows Obama’s campaign is dominating in every medium – from television to traditional campaign methods, like canvassing and phone, to modern techniques, like viral videos and emails. It is only in print material in the mail where there is near parity. The Obama campaign is dominating communication at every level of society – some driven by a funding advantage but others by the differing levels of engagement and commitment of Obama’s supporters to achieving change.

This emerging advantage in the “total campaign” may be contributing to Obama significantly extending his lead in the presidential battleground where he is now leading John McCain by 9 points (51 to 42 percent) in states that Bush won by 4 points in 2004.

This results are based on a survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted across 16 presidential battleground states (CO, IA, IN, FL, MI, MN, MO, MT, NC, NH, NM, NV, OH, PA, VA, WI) from October 5-7, 2008.

These are the highlights of this critical information about the state of the campaigns at a point when Obama has started to take the lead.

  • Obama’s campaign totally dominating in areas of new technology: By double-digit margins, voters are more likely to say that they have been reached by Obama’s campaign more than McCain’s through watching a campaign commercial on line, watching a viral video, visiting a campaign-sponsored website or receiving emails and “chain emails” about the candidate. In almost every area of the new campaign technology, Obama enjoys a two to one advantage in the battleground.
  • Obama’s campaign reaching young voters. Among voters under 30 years old, Obama’s campaign dominates on nearly every single medium. More than half of these voters report having watched TV ads and news stories from Obama’s campaign, and on this critical medium Obama’s campaign is exceeding McCain’s by more than 30 points. Obama’s campaign also holds a double-digit advantage on most forms of voter contact with voters aged 30 to 45 years old, which is an important part of Obama’s 4-point electoral advantage among this cohort.
  • Obama has big advantage on traditional forms of direct voter contact, particularly door-to-door canvassing: While the advantage in TV advertising is significant, it is also important to note that 21 percent say somebody supporting Obama has come to their door, but only 6 percent report having someone from McCain’s campaign, which just does not have the same level of outreach. In each area – door-to-door canvassing and phone calls – Obama’s campaign has a double-digit advantage. Only on receiving printed materials does Obama’s lead narrow to 3 points, though the intensity of those who say they have received “much more” printed material from Obama’s campaign is 5 points higher than those who report receiving “much more” printed materials from McCain.
  • Obama dominating TV advertising and it matters. By 65 to 44 percent, voters report watching more TV commercials from Obama. In the regression modeling, we show the intensity of TV advertising as the most important predictor of the vote when compared to other forms of communication.

We hope that you find this analysis useful in your work and if you have any questions or comments, please contact us at 202-478-8300.

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