Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 30, 2008

NOT BAD FOR AN INFOMERCIAL.... It's not my area of expertise, but these seem like pretty good ratings for a half-hour infomercial in prime time.

The combined overall household rating for Senator Barack Obama's Wednesday night infomercial, in the top 56 local television markets where Nielsen maintains electronic TV meters, was 21.7.

Obama's simulcast is the first to be aired by a presidential candidate since Ross Perot ran a political telecast on Election Day in 1996. That program was watched by 16.8% of all households nationwide. [...]

In comparison, the final debate between the two presidential candidates received a 38.3 household rating in the top 56 local TV markets. The candidates' first debate on September 26 received a 34.7 household rating in the top 55 markets; their second debate, on October 7, received a 42.0 household rating in those markets.

The New York Times added that the commercial "was particularly high-rated in several battleground states," including Pennsylvania, Florida, and North Carolina.

At this point, we don't know much about what kinds of voters were watching -- was he preaching to the choir or were undecided voters tuning in to give Obama a chance? For that matter, we also don't know if viewers overall liked what they saw.

But looking solely at the numbers, I'm left with the impression that there are actually quite a few Americans interested in politics this year. Think about -- one in five households tuned into a political commercial, which lasted a half-hour.

Steve Benen 4:50 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (14)

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That Wright ad will hopefully be final nail in the coffin for McCain. I hope they air it over and over. You see wedding pictures of Obama and his smiling wife and the quotes from Wright don't make you very fearful of Obama they make you fearful of McCain. Wer'e not sopposed to be afraid of the KKK?
I think we can all agree that the KKK is a pretty god damn awful thing, is McCain defending the KKK? Sure sounds like it to me.

Hopefully it's another Republican blunder.

Posted by: grinning cat on October 30, 2008 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

Any advertising is good--but the piece last night was fantastic in that it connected with real Americans and also with Obama and his values himself--and as Chris Mathews so aptly put it--he's a real American who lives out the true American dream. (For those of you who still don't like that he's black, Mathews employs..
"Gee, what more do you want?!")

Many of the undecideds seem to feel (consciously or not) that Obama is somehow: 'Un-American'.

I will say this though--I think undecideds still want to see more ads in these finally days that deal with National Security, support of Israel, and what the true strength of using diplomacy translates to all of us. Perhaps tie this in with taking care of our own country as one venue to true strength...

Posted by: on October 30, 2008 at 5:07 PM | PERMALINK

I'd be interested in knowing the average length of time viewers watched the infomercial. I wonder if Nielsen publishes that data.

Posted by: cnmne on October 30, 2008 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

Not to mention people like me, who were busy last night but have watched it online.

Posted by: Saragon on October 30, 2008 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

Not too surprising that ratings were high in Florida and (especially) Pennsylvania, given that it aired on FOX right before the last game of the World Series.

Posted by: John on October 30, 2008 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

i tuned in just to see a part of it. i ended up watching the whole thing, it was that well done.

Posted by: mudwall jackson on October 30, 2008 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

I wish truly Obama used these stories more--especially those that relate to Union and other hard working families...

The thing is it's all so real...I know it sounds a bit cliche-ish, but I do know folks exactly like he depicted. You'd have to be living in a bubble--and a really hard crusted one at that to not let some of those stories affect you.

Posted by: noabuseofpowerthereatall on October 30, 2008 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

We watched just to see what it was like. Our minds were made up a long time ago (Bye, Bye ReThugs !)

Excellent production values, solid presentation & very human. I think it was a big winner but then I have never been a Bushite.

"...it`s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine..." - REM

Posted by: daCascadian on October 30, 2008 at 5:30 PM | PERMALINK

Well, add me to the #s - I watched it online, uninterupted, not on TV.

Posted by: on October 30, 2008 at 6:05 PM | PERMALINK

I recall a couple weeks back during the height of the bailout crisis, Obama ran a two-minute ad talking about his economic plan.

Immediately on NPR a reporter asked some GOP wingnut, "Did Obama make a mistake airing a two-minute ad?"

I mean sweet Jes..s.....this country is in economic meltdown, trapped in an endless war, destroying the environment, rife with political corruption......and the idea of actually spending two whole minutes talking about issues is a political RISK?" Give me a giant break.

People care this time....really care because it is their fannies getting hammered day in and day out by the policies (or lack of them) of the current administration.) Suddenly all the old tricks....vote suppression, race baiting, innuendo, guilt by association.....all of them...are having no impact....Because people are spending two minutes and Lawd Amighty....30 minutes....listening to someone who can talk for 30 minutes about his plans without uttering a single word of attack about his opponent.

Karl Rove just can't understand how his "math" has proven so unworkable any more.

Posted by: dweb on October 30, 2008 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

I watched it on-line, today. But I also just popped in downstairs, where my DH is glued to the TV set (switched to PBS) and they were running fragments of it. Brokaw seemed awed, for all he tried to keep his tired face muscles relaxed.

Posted by: exlibra on October 30, 2008 at 6:55 PM | PERMALINK

My partner and I really enjoyed it, thought it was moving but we're so in the choir so..

Posted by: The Galloping Trollop on October 30, 2008 at 7:34 PM | PERMALINK

So..I'm sitting there with my Mom & Dad, watching this beautifully done program through my lense of hard bitten, cynical, poll watching political junkie who's heard all this stuff before and I look over at my Mom to say something. She is sitting there with tears streaming down her face!!! I look at my Dad and realize that HE"S tearing up, too!!!
An then I got it: Obama isn't looking for my vote. He had that at "hello". He needs those older Reagan dems, like my parents, who haven't really warmed to him or his message. That program was like turning a switch for my parents. They are, as of now, two newly minted Obama voters. I can only hope that my experience was duplicated all over the nation last night.
Sheer craziness!! I gonna love the Obama era! I can't wait for it to start.


Posted by: Greywolf1014 on October 31, 2008 at 4:11 AM | PERMALINK

It actually got much highter ratings than the world series, so it wasn't just people who were tuning in early to see the series.

I haven't had a chance to watch it yet - no TV here.

Posted by: eden on October 31, 2008 at 8:08 AM | PERMALINK



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