WiscAds

The Wisconsin Advertising Project (“WiscAds”) is a research project that analyzes how political candidates, political parties, and special interest groups communicate with voters via advertising.  Between 2000-2008, WiscAds grew from the 75 largest media markets (DMAs) to the entire country.  Each ad comes with a variety of codes, including issues mentioned (e.g., economic and social policies), suggested actions for a voter to take, and who paid for the ad.  Each year includes SPSS and Stata formats, as well as storyboards of all ads as PDFs.

Wisconsin Advertising Project (zipped files):

  • 2000 (1.4 GB)
    • 75 largest media markets
    • Data citation: Goldstein, Kenneth, Michael Franz, and Travis Ridout. 2002. “Political Advertising in 2000.” Combined File [dataset]. Final release. Madison, WI: The Department of Political Science at The University of Wisconsin-Madison and the The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University.
  • 2002 (2.2 GB)
    • 100 largest media markets; U.S. House, U.S. Senate, and Gubernatorial elections
    • Data citation: Goldstein, Kenneth, and Joel Rivlin. 2005. “Political Advertising in 2002.” Combined File [dataset]. Final release. Madison, WI: The Wisconsin Advertising Project, The Department of Political Science at The University of Wisconsin-Madison.
  • 2004 (0.7 GB)
    • 100 largest media markets; Presidential, U.S. House, U.S. Senate, and Gubernatorial elections
    • Data citation: Goldstein, Kenneth, and Joel Rivlin. 2007. “Presidential advertising, 2003-2004” Combined File [dataset]. Final release. Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Advertising Project, The Department of Political Science at The University of Wisconsin-Madison.
  • 2008 (0.4 GB)
    • All 210 media markets; Presidential, U.S. House, U.S. Senate, and Gubernatorial elections
    • Data citation: Goldstein, Kenneth, Sarah Niebler, Jacob Neiheisel, and Matthew Holleque. 2011. “Presidential, Congressional, and Gubernatorial Advertising, 2008” Combined File [dataset]. Initial release. Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Advertising Project, the Department of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Data for 2006 elections are not available.

Additionally, 1996 data are freely provided on the University of Wisconsin-Madison Elections Research Center Wisconsin Advertising Project page, although these data are much more minimal than the 2000-2008 data provided here.

This project has since moved to Wesleyan University, where more recent election years are available.

Questions?  Contact data@virginia.edu.