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Election 2004
Politics and Economy:
Election Watch Resources
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Campaign Ads 2004

It's no secret that candidates spend vast sums of money on campaign ads in election years. Turn on the television right now, and you are bound to see George W. Bush or John Kerry or a local candidate putting his or her seal of approval on a political message. But is everything we see on TV the truth? And how much of an impact do these commercials have on voters? Until the final tallies come in next November, it's hard to tell. Luckily, the Web is full of individuals and organizations dedicated to keeping track. Watch the recent campaign ads by following links below, and then visit some of the following sites for analysis.

Bush-Cheney '04 Video & Audio
The campaign site of George W. Bush features video of television ads, including ad facts and background, as well as other recent audio and video clips.

John Kerry for President
The official site of John Kerry's presidential campaign features video of recent ads and television appearances by Kerry.

Nader for President 2004
Ralph Nader's campaign site offers video and audio clips.
The Annenberg Political Fact Check,, is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania (APCC). The project calls itself a nonpartisan, nonprofit, consumer advocate for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. monitors the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews, and news releases.

MSNBC Campaign Ad Watch
MSNBC's Web site offers stories on the candidates' campaign ads, as well as links to videos and scripts of the ads themselves.

White House for Sale
A project of Public Citizen, tracks fundraising by candidates, major campaign contributors, background on campaign finance issues, and news on the advertising being done by candidates from both parties. Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit public interest organization with 160,000 members that was founded in 1971 to represent consumer interests in Congress, the executive branch and the courts. The campaign tracking site is managed by Congress Watch, one of Public Citizen's six divisions, and some content is provided by Texans for Public Justice, an Austin-based non-profit that organized in 1997 to take on political corruption and corporate abuses in Texas.

Justice at Stake Campaign
Justice at Stake's Campaign Monitor Project is a systematic effort to document the fund-raising, television ads, candidate speech and other campaign activity in this fall's campaigns for control of the nation's state courts. Justice at Stake is a nonpartisan campaign working to keep courts fair and impartial. The site lists 2001-03 Supreme Court election results, scheduled Supreme Court races for 2004, and offers analysis on fundraising, television ads, and campaign conduct.

Online NewsHour: Cyber Ads
The Online NewsHour contains transcripts from NEWSHOUR WITH JIM LEHRER relating to elections. On February 20, 2004, Terence Smith and two guests discussed the strategy of Web-based political ads and the unique advantages of the Internet for campaign communications.

C-SPAN Vote 2004 Campaign Advertisements has archived video of campaign ads of all major presidential candidates in the 2004 election.

TNS Media Intelligence/Campaign Media Analysis Group
TNS Media Intelligence/CMAG, a market information group, uses a combination of TNS Media Intelligence/CMR data, strategic partnerships and well-trained political researchers to track political and issue/advocacy advertising. The site tracks total spending on political and issue ads since January 1, 2004 and links to recent press clips on television advertising.

Recent Articles:

"Mack the Knife vs. Geek Chic: In the Bush-Kerry ad war, mediums are the message"
NEWSWEEK, May 17, 2004

"Political candidates target Internet users with online ads"

"Fact-checker: Ads' facts checkered"
USA TODAY, April 5, 2004

"Presidential Ad War Hits the Web: Harsh Attacks Leveled Online, Where TV Rules Don't Apply"
WASHINGTON POST, March 15, 2004

"Ad wars", March 3, 2004

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