April 8th, 2016

Ads of Hillary Clinton and Ted Cruz Have the Greatest Impact within their Parties


Ace Metrix

In an earlier post, we discussed the top performing Presidential campaign ads of the past 90 days, when measured by a balanced panel of voters from all parties. Here we explore what themes are resonating within Democrats, Independents, and Republicans. While Bernie Sanders ads overwhelm to top performing ads lists among Democrats and Independents, Hillary Clinton breaks trough with the most effective ad among Democratic viewers. On the Republican side, ads supporting Ted Cruz are having the greatest impact. We explore why below.

Top Presidential Campaign Ads, Among Democratic Voters, Past 90 Days

The Impact Score (on a scale of 1-100) measures response to the question, “How does this ad change the likelihood that you will vote for this candidate?” The Democratic Presidential Campaign norm is 43.
Rank Sponsor Ad Title Ace Score Impact Score
1 Hillary for America Let’s Move Forward 692 74
2 Bernie 2016 Fairness 673 67
3 Bernie 2016 Voice 670 69
4 Bernie 2016 For Jobs For Us 666 69
5 Bernie 2016 Every American 659 72

List Highlights:

  • Democratic voters rated ads focusing on American jobs and closing tax loopholes the highest. Clinton’s “Let’s Move Forward,” which spoke of penalties for jobs or profits sent overseas, tax credits for manufacturing job creation, and investment in clean energy jobs, held the top spot with an Ace score of 692 (Democratic Norm: 440).  This ad also posted the highest Impact Score at 74.
  • Close behind with an Ace score of 673 among Democratic viewers was Bernie Sanders’ “Fairness” spot, hitting airwaves in the past week. The ad spoke of closing tax loopholes that favor the wealthy — opening with the statistic that the top 100 CEO’s have more wealth for retirement than the bottom 100 million Americans.
  • “Let’s Move Forward” was driven by Attention, Relevance, and Agreement, as was “Fairness,” though Hillary for America’s ad had higher scores.

Top Presidential Campaign Ads, Among Independent Voters, Past 90 Days

The Independent Presidential Campaign Impact Score norm is 44.
Rank Sponsor Ad Title Ace Score Impact Score
1 Bernie 2016 Fairness 597 58
2 Cruz For President Tax Plan 583 52
3 Bernie 2016 For Jobs For Us 569 58
4 Bernie 2016 People Before Polluters 568 56
4 Kasich For America Progress 565 53

List Highlights:

  • For middle voters, the top two spots both covered the issue of taxes, with Sanders’ “Fairness” (Ace Score 597 vs Independents Norm 427) just nudging out Cruz’s “Tax Plan” (Ace Score 583). The Sanders ad boasted higher Agreement and Learning scores among Independents while performing particularly well among Female swing voters.  “Fairness” additionally boasted its highest appeal among lower income voters (under $75K), while “Tax Plan” performed identically across all income groups.
  • The third best performing ad among Independents, Sanders’ “For Jobs for Us,” spoke of the millions of jobs lost overseas, with Sanders being the only candidate voting consistently against the trade pacts.
  • None of these ads, while high scoring, demonstrate strong power to change votes, with Impact scores ranging from 52-58.

Top Presidential Campaign Ads, Among Republican Voters, Past 90 Days

The Republican Presidential Campaign Impact Score norm is 46.
Rank Sponsor Candidate Ad Title Ace Score Impact


1 Cruz For President Ted Cruz Interested 640 66
2 Kasich For America John Kasich Progress 624 59
3 Cruz For President Ted Cruz Themselves 620 67
4 Keep The Promise I Ted Cruz Experience 619 60
5 Cruz For President Ted Cruz Parents :90 619 63

List Highlights:

  • Similar themes were seen among Republican viewers, with some of the highest performing ads also promising to repeal Obamacare. The top ad, Ted Cruz’s “Interested,” (Ace Score 640 vs Republican Norm of 458), also promises pulling back regulations that suppress small business. The ad’s strength was driven by particularly high Agreement and Relevance while also being higher on Re-Watchability than the second place spot. Performance for this ad is greatest among the 36-49-year old group.
  • John Kasich’s “Progress” is the only ad breaking the top 5 that doesn’t support Ted Cruz. The ad is powered by Agreement, Relevance, and Attention, and scores highest among adults 50+, for whom the theme of jobs and the economy resonate.


One key observation from these lists is that no Hillary Clinton ad appears in the full panel list of top performers, but she has the top ad among party faithfuls. We’ll keep an eye on this as we move past Wisconsin and toward New York. Similarly, Ted Cruz and John Kasich are breaking through Bernie Sanders’ ad dominance among the swing voters, while Hillary Clinton is not showing ad resonance among this group.

About Ace Metrix POLITICS

Launched in 2012, Ace Metrix POLITICS provides video ad effectiveness metrics and data to political campaigns, PACs and advocacy groups based on 500 respondents per ad and a sample of national registered voters balanced to the U.S. Census. The data collected provides insights into the effectiveness of the ad, verbatim responses and the likelihood the ad changed the way respondents will vote.

For more information on Ace Metrix POLITICS, please email Mark Bryant: mbryant@acemetrix.com



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