Editors' pick: Originally published Oct. 10.
Steve Lanzano is president and CEO of TVB, the trade association for local television broadcasters.
As we enter the final stretch toward Election Day, in addition to watching the increasingly tight battle for the White House, political enthusiasts are closely watching the fight for the Senate majority. According to political website RealClearPolitics' latest analysis, there are six senate seats that are toss-ups with Republican senators currently holding five of them.
In these close races, it's critical that campaigns' messages reach not only their loyal party base, but independent and undecided voters. According to Pew Research Center, 39% of voters now identify themselves as independent, and a recent VAB study shows that three out of four undecided voters can be swayed as close to one week before a local election.
Television is the most effective influencer of voter behavior, especially in these groups and should be a pillar of these senatorial campaigns. "We have done experiments to try to measure the impact of broadcast versus mail versus digital," Alixandria Lapp, executive director of the House Majority PAC said. "There's just no question, broadcast has the biggest impact."
No other political ad platform can compete with local broadcast TV in terms of reach. Broadcast stations have the potential to reach all television homes in every market and adults 18+ consume 2.5 times as much TV each week compared to their second and third most used mediums. Furthermore, a research analysis by Hudson Institute found that Trump's ebb and flow in ad spending directly correlated to his rise and fall in presidential polls. TV's constant presence in voters' lives has made it the most effective tool in influencing their vote, a fact that campaigns should remember in the final few weeks before the November elections.