Wesleyan University Media Project finds mentions of abortion in televised political ads on rise

MIDDLETOWN — A new analysis from the Wesleyan University Media Project finds that mentions of abortion in televised political advertising have risen in the wake of the leaked draft of the Supreme Court opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade.

The increase was especially pronounced in races for the US House, according to a press release.

The Wesleyan Media Project also found that ads from Republican candidates in federal races are focused on the current and former presidents, with 36 percent of Senate ads from Republican candidates featuring an anti-Biden message and 40 percent featuring a pro-Trump message, the news release said.

Other highlights of the report include:

Cycle-to-date, the Wesleyan Media Project has tracked over 1 million ad airings in federal and gubernatorial races, an increase of 32 percent over the same period in the 2018 cycle.

Atop the list of spending in gubernatorial races this cycle were two races held last year, Virginia’s regular race for governor and California’s unsuccessful recall election. A crowded race for governor of Illinois this year has resulted in substantial ad airings, as has a robust Republican primary in Nebraska.

Senate races in Ohio have already featured almost 100,000 ad airings. Other states seeing substantial ad spending in a Senate race are Pennsylvania (with primaries May 17) and Alabama (May 24).

Advertising has also been substantial in several US House races, the project said. The House race seeing the most ads was Texas’s 28th district.

For information, visit mediaproject.wesleyan.edu.

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