Yahoo’s Chris Wilson has built one of my favorite tools of the election cycle, a survey of network television shows that breaks down which presidential campaigns, party committees, and affiliated groups are advertising are advertising on which programs. A couple of my favorite results:
-Democrats and Republicans are about even in the numbers of ads they’re airing on NCIS, the most popular scripted show on television. No one can resist Mark Harmon, apparently. Now if only one of the candidates would use the show’s Israel politics in a stump speech…
-2 Broke Girls may be crazy, crazy racist, but the first black president’s campaign is targeting viewers of CBS’s recession comedy aggressively: the Obama campaign bought more than 90 percent of the 62 ad buys on the show. Maybe the administration is counting on viewers who identify with Caroline and Max to care more about health care affordability and covered contraception than the idea that racial jokes are hilarious.
-The Voice, NBC’s singing competition, skews Democratic, with 462 of 681 ad buys going to the Obama campaign or Democratic groups and committees. The Olympics, by contrast, had the most Republican-heavy ads, with 250 out of 323 ad buys backing Romney—probably because there was an actual hook there to hang one of the central elements of his campaign on.
-Saturday Night Live, somewhat surprisingly given the show’s history of lampooning Republican candidates, breaks close to even, with 250 Republican ad buys and 258 Democratic ones. Maybe the idea is that the Republicans will catch hate-watchers?
There’s a lot more data there, and the numbers will change as we head into the ad-heavy final weeks of the campaign. But it’s fun to sort through these results, if only to get a sense of who the candidates believe are the target audience for particular shows.