Expect a full weekend of political ads

“For sure there is persuasion fatigue going in this campagin.”

Edgar Linares
November 02, 2018 - 7:10 pm

By Edgar Linares

With only a handful of days left before Tuesday's midterm election politicians and special interest groups are spending their last dollars on ads for television, radio, and online – and that is contributing to political ad fatigue according to experts.

“For sure there is persuasion fatigue going in this campaign,” said Professor Kevin Sauter, who teaches Television Criticism, Public Communications and Persuasion at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. “I think many people are disgusted by the whole system, but the system perpetuates itself.”

He says if you feel like you've seen more political ads on television, radio or online than in elections past you'd be right.

“In part because we have more seats that are available. We’ve never had an election where we’ve had the governership and both of our senate seats and of course all the congress people up for election all at the same time,” said Sauter. “We have more races than we’ve had in the past.”

However, Professor Sauter says these weekend ads will have very little impact since many voters have already decided on a candidate.

“By and large we have a pretty hardened electorate at this point. So most of these ads don’t have direct impact on people in getting them to change. It might get them to deepen their commitment, it might make them less susceptible to the ads of the other side,” said Sauter.

Sauter says there’s always that one percent in a close race that’s not a sophisticated viewer or maybe some new piece of information comes out that could change some people.

The Professor expects candidates who are a little behind in the polls or pretty even to pull out something unique a "November surprise" of some sort. He says it worked for former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura.

“He put out just that last weekend, that ‘Jesse the Body ad’ that really was affective in turning the tide,” said Sauter. “He only had four ads the entire campaign and his last one was just at the last weekend and obviously he won.”

He says the good news is the ads will end on November 6, the bad news is they’ll be back during the presidential race. Sauter expects Minnesota will be in play and it’s already been reported President Trump has amassed a large amount of cash that could be used for a full-fledged political ad war.