A few weeks ago, we looked at the first wave of political advertising focused on COVID-19. Since then, the crisis has only intensified, and the political universe has responded. During the last month, nearly 50% of all political ads have featured some reference to coronavirus. The subject monopolizes political ads from the presidential campaign down to local mayoral campaigns. While COVID has hit in what is generally a relative lull in the election cycle, between primaries and general elections, it has still had a remarkable effect in driving down the number of ads airing per week. Since March 17th, we have seen an average of 23,00 total political ad airings/week. This is the lowest number of weekly ads since August 2019. Of these ads, the majority have run in presidential battleground states, with outside groups Priorities USA, American Bridge, and America First taking up the most airtime.
As the above graph shows, it took several weeks for political advertisers to turn their focus to COVID-19, but over the last month, the share of ads mentioning the virus has remained
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