- May 2, 2012

Political Candidates Use Different Strategies to Engage Voters Through Digital Advertising

With each successive political cycle, digital advertising continues to play a more prominent role in campaigns. In the months leading up to 2012, the Obama campaign began delivering a significant number of online display ads across the web, outpacing the combined effort of the four leading Republican campaigns. An analysis of the top 3 web publishers of display ads for each of the leading Republican candidates reveals an interesting mix of strategies. From September 2011 to February 2012, Mitt Romney for President advertised mostly on Facebook, with 58.2 percent of its ads coming over the social network – the highest percentage seen for any candidate so far.

Newt 2012 delivered nearly 30 percent of its display ads through the Drudge Report and more than 20 percent through the Fox News Digital Network – both sites known to have conservative leanings. Meanwhile, Rick Santorum for President delivered the highest share of its display ad impressions on TheBlaze.com, Glenn Beck’s political blog owned by Clear Channel. These differences in strategy suggest that Santorum and Gingrich have been focusing primarily on primary voters, while the Romney campaign may have always had its eyes looking ahead to the general election.

For more insights on how digital media is shaping the 2012 U.S. presidential election, check out Comscore's new report entitled The Digital Politico: 5 Ways Digital Media is Shaping the 2012 Presidential Election.

Share of Ad Impressions for Top 3 Publishers