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Analysis of Political Advertisements

Updated: Dec 13, 2018

By Katherine Olsen


Though the midterm elections are done and the votes counted, there is still a lingering reminder of their passing: political advertisements. These short clips interrupting your daily YouTube binge often seem repetitive, dull, and melodramatic. Sometimes opposing candidates even use the same arguments against each other! But why are they interrupting your binge session? To gain votes, obviously, but lots of people watching YouTube or television aren’t registered voters. Additionally, let's be honest. These ads aren’t convincing. They rarely state anything concrete or logical. Often, they appear to be straight ad-hominem slander. Though imperfect, these ads are created by people like you, for people like you, to broadcast the political opinions of organizations.

Point Loma High School is in City Council District 2, where Republican Lorie Zapf ran against Democrat Jennifer Campbell. Multiple committees were organized both for and against the two candidates, like the Public Integrity League opposed to Jennifer Campbell, and the San Diegans Against Hate opposed to Lorie Zapf. Both committees created locally run advertisements stating their views and attempting to convince voters to think like them. On a larger scale, shows like CBS This Morning air up to 53,172 political ads, costing about eighteen million dollars each voting season. The largest donor in this nationwide political free-for-all is the Senate Majority Political Action Committee (PAC); a Democratic Super PAC based in Washington, D. C. Organizations like this can spend unfathomable amounts of money on campaigns, most of which goes towards political advertisements.

Our local ads, now less frequently gracing our T.V. screens, are the work of individual donors who get to see their point of view recognized on a public platform. Groups thriving on the political dissension within San Diego get their messages out through these ads which appeal to only their own pool of like-minded members. Are these donors the only people excited to see an advertisement supporting their chosen candidate? Probably, but until the next election comes their opinions will have to be heard from the individuals themselves instead of on our TV screens.

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