In seventeen more days we’ll know who will be leading this country for the next four years. As we approach November 8, there is still time for candidates to reach voters and particularly those that are still undecided. Also, given the events that have occurred in the past few weeks, political advertising dollars have seen some shifts, but not with radio.
A recent study based on a NextRadio survey found that 35% of the respondents are not planning on voting, while 23% are not certain if they will vote on November 8. Of those that are undecided, the top radio formats that are tuned into in rank order are: rock, country, hip-hop, classic rock and Spanish (the final three tied at #3). With Spanish formats as one of the top “undecided” listening formats, it’s important to note that due to the growth of Hispanic voters, they can have a tremendous influence as noted by Pew Research. Radio can be the key to influencing this block since radio has the highest reach (92%) among Hispanic millennial voters versus other media and 91% (tied with broadcast TV) against those Hispanics 35 and older.
This same NextRadio survey also highlighted the percentage of respondents that were undecided or not voting by state, zeroing in on the Battleground States of Pennsylvania, Florida and Ohio. Within these states, the undecided and not voting percentages ranged from 47% to 58%. According to a report released by Katz Media Group, radio leads all other media in reaching the critical Independent voters within these states as they spend much more time with radio than they do with TV.
While the focus has been primarily on the presidential race, there are also competitive local races. Currently, 9 of the 11 most contested seats are also in the Swing or Battleground States of Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. According to data released by Nielsen, radio has the ability to reach over 16MM voters within the major metro areas of these states. Using Nielsen voter ratings data, they matched voter registration data with PPM data to determine radio’s strong reach against voter segments. An interactive graph illustrating radio’s reach in Florida markets is also available, as an example.
Based upon information supplied in August, Leo Kivijarv, Ph.D., Executive Vice President & Director of Research of PQ Media forecasted that political media buying for the 2016 campaign would reach $7.55 billion with the radio industry receiving approximately $410 million. That was early in the races. Over the course of the past few months, events occurred that had a direct impact on the races – tax returns and “lewd tape” releases – and in the interim, the RNC and SuperPacs concentrated on tight Senate races.
PQ Media recently updated its forecast and has provided a complete overview and stated the following:
“Given the events of the last two weeks and clearer understanding where both parties are allocating funds, PQ Media believes that its August prediction that overall political media buying should be revised downward once more to $7.25 billion. However, since presidential candidates rarely use radio, as pointed out in the original blog, we will not revise our forecast of $410 million being spent on radio, as both parties are more actively supporting ‘down-ballot’ candidates due to Trump’s weakness, and radio remains a very viable medium to reach key demos, particularly in rural areas.”
While the time to vote and influence voters is dwindling, radio with its reach and targetability can drive a candidate’s message home – quickly and efficiently. Radio reaches the constituents of every politician – over 225MM adults 18+ every week! If you’re still undecided, listen to the radio.