Cord Cutting vs Political Ads

Is spending on political ads in the age of the cord cutter really an effective way to reach voters anymore?

A year ago we moved and in the process our house became one in the growing trend of cord cutters. Initially we tried to keep up on some of our favorite shows online or through streaming services, but eventually we just stopped trying to watch TV shows at all. It is something we don't even miss. There are no commercials telling us what we need and the liberal agenda isn't slipped into our consciousness as we watch our favorite shows. We no longer have the kids telling us what they have to have all day based on what they saw in a commercial 30 seconds ago. Life is easier now and we love it.

I really had not thought much about this until I ran into an article over at The Hill. Midterms likely to be most expensive ever as TV ads pass billion-dollar mark. Then it hit me, I won't be seeing any political advertisements this election cycle unless I run into them while reading news on the web. If you are like me by the end of the election season you are just glad it is over. For my family this year will be different because we don't have to see negative ads on both sides that distort everything into the worst thing ever. It really was enough to make your head spin.

My second thought was with millions of people cutting cable out of their lives why are the politicians and political parties spending so much money to reach so few people. Is political advertising on TV still as effective as it once was? Some estimates are as high as 3 million or more people cut cable out of their lives last year alone. There are now estimates that as many as 13.5 million households don't have cable and the political advertisements are not reaching them. It has become clear that political campaigns are reaching fewer and fewer people.

With 79% of households still subscribing to cable or satellite services it's clear that the politicians are reaching someone. Less clear is if those viewers match the demographic that the campaign is trying to target. Eventually there will be a tipping point where it no longer makes finical sense for campaigns to spend so much on 30 seconds of lies and distortions to convince you the other candidate is evil. When that happens everyone wins.