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NAB Poll Finds Broad Approval of Election Coverage, Disapproval of Mandated Airtime

NAB Poll Finds Broad Approval of Election Coverage, Disapproval of Mandated Airtime

Nearly nine of 10 Americans believe local broadcasters are providing either “the right amount” or “too much” time covering the presidential election.
The poll, commissioned by NAB, was conducted Oct. 22-25 by Wirthlin Worldwide and surveyed views related to election coverage provided by local radio and TV stations. NAB said the margin of error was plus or minus 3.1 percent.
Findings include:

* 42 percent believe local broadcasters are providing “too much” coverage, 47 percent say they are providing “about the right amount” and 10 percent say broadcasters are providing “too little.”
* Local broadcast coverage in the form of news reports or candidate debates was viewed by 48 percent as the “most helpful” in selecting a candidate, compared to 24 percent who picked cable TV news coverage and 9 percent who picked newspaper. Paid radio and television advertising was listed by only 1 percent of poll respondents as the “most helpful” factor in selecting a candidate.
* By a margin of 69 percent to 28 percent, poll respondents oppose government-mandated free airtime for political candidates. NAB called the margin “overwhelming.”
* 65 percent believe that if political candidates were offered government-mandated free time, they would use it for ads attacking opponents; 31 percent feel the time would go to speeches, forums and debates
* 25 percent of respondents reject the suggestion that political candidates would raise less money if they did not have to pay for political advertising. 71 percent believe candidates “would continue raising money and spend it on something else.”