Dollars on the Sidewalk: Should U.S. Presidential Candidates Advertise in Uncontested States?
American Journal of Political Science
Presidential candidates in the United States do not intentionally advertise in states without rigorous competition for electoral votes. However, in some areas of noncompetitive states, media markets overlap with battleground states, exposing these regions to political ads. These spillover advertisements allow us to examine the relationship between advertisements and individual campaign contributions, with data from the Wisconsin Advertising Project and the Federal Elections Commission. Using propensity-score matching within uncontested states, we find that 2008 aggregate giving in zip codes exposed to political ads was approximately $6,100 (28.1% of mean contributions) more than in similar zip codes without advertisements.