|Since the end of the Democratic and Republican national conventions, both the Kerry and Bush campaigns have launched ads aimed at reaching voters in swing states and the remaining undecided voters. How does each campaign know what ad message will appeal to certain voters -- and whether or not these ads succeed in reaching the targeted groups? An expert answers your questions about campaign advertising.|
Tuchler from University City, Mo., asks:
Dr. Kathleen Hall Jamieson responds:
One big difference in the two general election campaigns is that the presence of Ross Perot (who very effectively used half-hour blocks of paid time) ensured that the deficit and national debt were part of the 1992 issue agenda. Although there were mentions of health care reform, the 1992 campaign of Governor Clinton focused primarily on the economy. For Senator Kerry, the health care reform message is a larger part of the ad strategy than that message was for the Democrats in 1992.(The Kerry plan is carefully designed to sidestep the criticisms of the failed Clinton health care reform effort of 93-4.)
In 2004 as in 1992, the Republicans attacked the credibility of the Democrat and the Democrat suggested that the Republican was out of touch. In 1992 Iraq was not a major clash point between the campaign of the president and the governor.
The biggest differences? September 11th ensured that national security and protection from terrorism would be central to 2004. The economic figures due out on Friday will indicate how comparable the last month of 2004 will be to 2000 on the economic front. In 2000, the economy was rebounding but the public didn't perceive that that was the case.