Sunday, August 10, 2008

Is the Celebrity Ad Concept Really Working for McCain?

The conventional wisdom among pundits and political reporters is that it is working. Certainly the McCain campaign believes it is working since they have put out three ads using this concept. Yet, as the poll results set forth in the graph above point out, it may not be doing McCain that much good.

Gallup runs a poll every day of registered voters. As can be seen above, over the last two weeks, McCain's numbers went up, then went back down. The poll for July 25, 2008 was before the first celebrity ad using Paris Hilton and Britney Spears. The second poll, on August 1, was right after those ads, and the third poll was about a week after the first ad appeared. Based on these three snapshots over a two week period, the McCain ads produced some initial movement for McCain, but then the race settled back down to about where it had been before the first celebrity ad.

Now, of course, there are some caveats here. The first is that the Gallup daily tracking poll is a poll of registered voters, not "likely" voters. The second is that it is a national poll, not a state by state poll, while the U.S. presidential election, because of the electoral college, is really 50 separate state elections, not one big national election.

Still, even keeping in mind those caveats, it is interesting that the "convential wisdom" of pundits and political journalits is not necessarily supported by the evidence.

You can view the whole Gallup daily tracking poll here.

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