Study of Key Battleground States Reveals Critical Role of Local TV Ads in 2020 Election Results | Financial Buzz

Study of Key Battleground States Reveals Critical Role of Local TV Ads in 2020 Election Results

A new study from the Television Bureau of Advertising (TVB) reveals that voters in ten battleground states were more influenced by TV ads than any other media platform. The online study, which was conducted by Dynata, polled more than 10,000 registered voters in ten competitive states (AZ, FL, GA, MI, MN, NC, OH, PA, TX & WI) immediately after Election Day, from November 4th through November 18th, 2020. Respondents were given the opportunity to take the survey in either English or Spanish.

“Throughout this election year, Americans of all ages and demographics, no matter what state they live in, saw some form of political messaging on every media platform available, yet ads viewed on local TV stations clearly left the biggest impression on voters throughout their decision process,” TVB President and CEO Steve Lanzano remarked. “This fact is currently being affirmed in the Georgia Senate runoff as the campaigns continue to heavily invest in local TV, where they are guaranteed to reach voters.”

Highlights from the study include:

  • Only 33% of respondents voted in person on election day. With the 26% that voted in person early before November 3 included, most respondents, 59%, did vote in person.
  • Of those that voted early, 39% voted three or more weeks prior to Election Day, but the party difference was notable: 46% of Democrats voted three or more weeks early, compared to just 32% of Republicans.
  • 90% of respondents were exposed to a television political ad, with 57% citing it as the most important medium for awareness. 49% of respondents were exposed to a political ad on social media, and just 7% said it was the most important for awareness.
  • In the final stage of their decision process – voting – 51% of adults 18+ picked television as being the most important influence, which was greater than all the other media combined (36%). And of those that cited television, 7 out of 10 picked broadcast TV.
  • 75% of total adults felt that TV ads influenced them when doing an online political search.
  • The most trusted news source for respondents was local broadcast television news, and the most trusted digital media news source was the web and apps of local broadcast TV news. Fake news was found to be most prevalent on social media and cable, respectively.
  • 65% of voters selected TV as motivating them to get out to vote. Social media was next with 32%, less than half that of TV. Tied for third at 18% each were mail, radio, and text messages.

Lanzano noted, “In a year when the pandemic and a polarizing election made campaigning even more challenging, ads run on local broadcast television helped candidates reach and persuade voters. In these battleground states, the study found that campaigns’ TV ads influenced voters the most to take action.”

More information: 2020 Voter Funnel Study

About TVB:

TVB is the not-for-profit trade association representing America’s local broadcast television industry. To learn more visit

About We Get Voters:

We Get Voters is a campaign created by the Television Bureau of Advertising (TVB) to promote local broadcast TV’s voter influence and political impact


Angela Sundstrom



Cameron Smith

The Herald Group


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