Jul 8, 2019

Who will be watching this week’s All-Star festivities? Swing voters

Author: Deep Root Analytics

Deep Root, an audience-powered analytics company that analyzes how people consume media, has conducted extensive research into how political audiences watch live sports. In 2018 we partnered with Fox Sports to write a case study on local sports advertising compared with local news and national sports. Click here to view the full study. With that same interest in media consumption of major sporting events, we explored partisan viewership of the MLB All-Star Game to find out who will be tuning in.

Deep Root Analytics analyzed television viewership across 49 markets to uncover how voters will be watching this year’s All-Star Game. We found that Democratic GOTV voters, the likely targets for much of the advertising at this point in the cycle, are about 10% less likely to be watching the game and related coverage than the average adult. Republican GOTV voters on the other hand are 16% more likely to be watching, and Swing voters are 26% more likely to be watching than the average adult. This becomes more nuanced when broken out by network type, however, with Democratic GOTV voters being 22% more likely than the average adult to be watching the game and related coverage on cable.

MLB All-Star Game coverage on broadcast television is much more popular among Swing voters than Democratic GOTV voters and has much higher ratings than cable coverage, with the in-game coverage coming in at a 5.0 among Democratic GOTV voters and a 6.9 among Swing voters. With cable coverage of the game and surrounding events, we see that some programs index similarly among Democratic GOTV and Swing voters, like the Home Run Derby on ESPN, but it only does a 1.5 and 1.8 rating respectively. Democratic GOTV voters are also much easier to reach than Swing voters on the Spanish language stations ESPN Deportes and Fox Deportes.

These findings align with our previous findings about baseball viewership that the MLB All-Star Game is a great way to reach Swing voters, who are hard to find on television. Advertisers should keep this in mind and focus on general election messaging, even this early in the race. However, the All-Star Game also provides an opportunity, albeit lesser, for candidates to get their primary messages out to Spanish speaking Democratic GOTV voters.