a1 University of Michigan
a2 University of Michigan
Interest group spending on issue advertising is growing dramatically, but we know very little about its deployment and purpose in legislative advocacy. This article begins to fill the gap, examining where, when, and why interest groups run television issue advertisements. We start from the premise that issue advertising is a form of outside lobbying, but we argue that it can serve two legislative ends. We hypothesize, first, that group strategists will target areas represented by committee allies they want to mobilize more than pivotal members they want to convert. When a roll call is approaching and the vote is likely to be close, however, groups will expand their advertising targets to include floor voters near the chamber pivot. Our statistical tests use data on television issue ads concerning the 2003 Medicare prescription drug bill. The analysis provides consistent support for the first hypothesis and mixed support for the second.
Richard L. Hall is Professor in the Department of Political Science and the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109.
Molly E. Reynolds is a graduate student at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109.