An unflattering and off-script take on his gubernatorial opponent helped drive Jerry Brown's overall on-air and online exposure last week, according to the newest midterm campaign media analysis by The Nielsen Company.
The analysis shows that the campaign voicemail gaffe helped to push Brown's name past Republican Meg Whitman's in both national online buzz and in on-air television mentions in California's top media markets. It had been at least 10 days since Brown led his opponent in either category, but the negative exposure was certainly not the way the campaign would have liked to take the lead.
The drama occurred during a week where both campaigns significantly stepped up their overall ad buys. Whitman aired 3,727 ads across California's top four media markets last week, 51 percent more than her total during the previous week. Brown, meanwhile, aired 2,804 ads in the same markets, a 60 percent increase over the previous week.
In other campaigns across the nation:
- While Republican Carly Fiorina made a serious move in the advertising battle last week, Democratic incumbent Barbara Boxer still ran more ads overall. Boxer continues to receive good news in polling results for the California Senate race, driving positive online buzz.
- Alex Sink's gubernatorial campaign in Florida ran only five total ads in Jacksonville and was silent in Miami, Orlando, Tampa, and West Palm Beach. Rick Scott, meanwhile, blanketed the airwaves with almost 1,400 total ads. But ads bought and aired by the Florida Democratic Party helped to balance out Scott’s message on the airwaves.
- While the latest public polls appear to be in Democratic Governor Martin O’Malley’s favor, Republican Bob Ehrlich accelerated his advertising buy last week as the campaign enters its final month.
- In Pennsylvania's U.S. Senate race, Republican Pat Toomey increased his advertising lead last week over Democrat Joe Sestak. Support from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is driving negative discussion about Toomey on-air, and help from the White House is propelling Sestak’s climb in online buzz.
Download Nielsen’s Campaign Media Analysis for more details on these and other contentious midterm political races.