More than 1-in-5 TV Households Watched Obama Last Night

Nielsen has the details:

The combined overall household rating for Senator Barack Obama's Wednesday night infomercial, in the top 56 local television markets where Nielsen maintains electronic TV meters, was 21.7.

Obama's simulcast is the first to be aired by a presidential candidate since Ross Perot ran a political telecast on Election Day in 1996.  That program was watched by 16.8% of all households nationwide.

Ross Perot also ran a series of 15 political telecasts during the 1992 presidential election.

In comparison, the final debate between the two presidential candidates received a 38.3 household rating in the top 56 local TV markets.  The candidates' first debate on September 26 received a 34.7 household rating in the top 55 markets; their second debate, on October 7, received a 42.0 household rating in those markets.

Nearly a third of television households in the Philadelphia market tuned into the Obama event immediately preceding the World Series, making the market Obama's second best for the evening. Other swing areas in the top-10 included West Palm Beach (second), Greensboro, NC (fifth), St. Louis (sixth), Washington, DC (seventh), and Boston (ninth), with the latter two bleeding into swing states.

The pundits on the cable nets may try to discount the power of the broadcast. However,
 Obama was not trying to convince the Beltway cognoscenti with his event -- he was trying to reach voters who might otherwise not have been reached. So the fact that what appears to have been tens of millions of people tuned in last night to a program with Oscar-like production values laying out a cogent case for why Barack Obama should be elected the next President of the United States cannot be a bad thing for the Obama campaign.

Tags: advertising, Barack Obama, White House 2008 (all tags)

Comments

8 Comments

Better then Perot

and if you are comparing this to the debates its a good showing too considering the debate was carried on more networks

I want to see if this would result in a Infomercial Bounce  

by wellinformed 2008-10-30 08:16AM | 0 recs
The true POWER of this broadcast

was that it made Obama appear to be one of "us" instead of "other" or "foreign".  Obama looked like he belonged in people's living rooms and in the oval office.

by puma 2008-10-30 08:24AM | 0 recs
Re: More than 1-in-5 TV Households Watched

OK, so ratings shares are great!  What are the total numbers of viewers?  Can we calculate that based on the ratings shares?

by LordMike 2008-10-30 08:28AM | 0 recs
Re: More than 1-in-5 TV Households Watched

Got it!  Each point represents 1,128,000 viewers, so the total viewership was 25,605,600 viewers.

Not to shabby!

by LordMike 2008-10-30 08:40AM | 0 recs
Re: More than 1-in-5 TV Households Watched

And more important, how many of them were McCain supporters, undecided voters, or soft Obama supporters?

If the people who watched consisted of the 20% of households who  are strong Obama supporters who watched to see how he would do (guilty as charged...), then it reminds me of my favorite line from Jack Germond -- things like this are like pissing in a blue serge suit. It gives you a warm feeling for a while, but no one else notices.

Still, at least those who didn't watch it will hear about it, which is positive.

by fsm 2008-10-30 08:44AM | 0 recs
This is extremely good news.

I missed the broadcast last night--I was working--and just watched it online an hour ago.

I thought it was genuinely superb, BOTH politically AND in terms of policy. I honestly feel that it will make a real difference with hesitating working class folks. Inspiration AND solutions!

But I have seen little discussion of it online today, and I was wondering what the ratings were. I have a sense that the punditocracy is a bit miffed at Obama doing an end run that bypasses their control, and have tended to try to overlook it. If the message didn't get out, then it couldn't do much good.

Well, these ratings are excellent. With big ratings for that presentation, then I cannot imagine that any genuinely undecided person wouldn't feel a huge pull toward Barack.

I will be very surprised if this show doesn't raise his following by a point or two, and especially in hard working parts of the country. As in, Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, Virginia, etc.

Barack is running the best campaign America has ever seen.

by Thresholder 2008-10-30 08:39AM | 0 recs
Sadly, at this point, I am skeptical

I will be very surprised if this show doesn't raise his following by a point or two, and especially in hard working parts of the country. As in, Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, Virginia, etc.

I hope that as well, but I am skeptical. If you were undecided before then, not sure this flipped anyone. It's just my gut....

Barack is running the best campaign America has ever seen.

Certainly in my lifetime I agree.

Again, I am skeptical this moved hearts and minds, but it was certainly worth the money and the shot taken.

Axelrod is indeed running a campaign for the ages.

by WashStateBlue 2008-10-30 09:09AM | 0 recs
Re: More than 1-in-5 TV Households Watched Obama
1 in 5, or " 16.8% of all households nationwide", doesn't seem like a lot, except when put into context:
RANK    PROGRAMS         HH RATING (LIVE+SD)    # OF PERSONS 2+ (LIVE+SD) (000)
1    DANCING WITH THE STARS    ABC    12.0   
2    CSI                    CBS    11.7   
3    DANCING W/STARS RESULTS    ABC    10.7   
3    NCIS                    CBS    10.7   
5    DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES    ABC    10.1   
6    MENTALIST, THE            CBS    9.6   
7    CRIMINAL MINDS            CBS    9.5   
7    GREY'S ANATOMY-THU 9PM    ABC    9.5   
9    FOX WORLD SERIES GAME 4    FOX    9.3
10    CSI: NY                    CBS    9.2   
10    FOX WORLD SERIES GAME 1    FOX    9.2   
by ChitownDenny 2008-10-30 09:56AM | 0 recs

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