Ignoring 273 Million Americans – The 2012 Presidential Campaign

The mainstream media consistently covers campaign events across the nation, however, if you watch the coverage closely, you'll notice that certain states seem to get way more of the presidential candidates' time than others.  It's not your imagination.
 
According to The Center for Voting and Democracy, three states are getting most of the attention; Florida, Ohio and Virginia.  While most of us consider Pennsylvania to be a key swing state, it has been displaced by "lucky" Virginia.  For your information, the three aforementioned states account for only 12.5 percent of America's population but account for the majority of ad spending and campaign events by both Republican and Democratic vice-presidential and presidential candidates.  Here are some interesting statistics from both sides of the campaign:
 
1.) President Obama, Vice President Biden, Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan have held 61.3 percent of their campaign events in Florida, Ohio and Virginia between September 7th and October 17th.
 
2.) These three states were the lucky recipients of 54.3 percent of the $544 million spent on advertising by both sides since April 11th, 2012.
 
3.) Florida and Ohio hosted about half of all major party campaign events in the fall campaigns of 2004, 2008 and 2012.
 
4.) Nearly two-thirds of all states were not visited by a major party presidential or vice-presidential nominee during the peak seasons of the 2008 and 2012 campaigns.
 
5.) During the current campaign, Ohio has hosted the same number of presidential and vice-presidential campaign events as the 30 smallest states in the union combined (in case you were wondering, the number thus far is 34).  For your information, Ohio has a paltry 18 electoral votes compared to a total of 158 for the 30 smallest states.
 
6.)  This year's sad and ignored voters in Pennsylvania had hosted 13.4 percent of the nation's campaign events in the fall of 2008; this has dropped off to a mere 0.1 percent in the 2012 cycle.
 
Let's look at some data from the two presidential elections showing the percentage of visits and campaign events held in each of the four states and the percentage of total advertising spent in each state in 2004, 2008 and 2012:
 
 
On average, over the last three elections, Florida has benefitted from 17.5 percent of all campaign events and 21.3 percent of national campaign ad spending, hitting a high of 27.1 percent in 2004.  On average, Ohio has seen 21.9 percent of all campaign events and 16.3 percent of national campaign ad spending.  This cycle, Ohio has hosted a whopping 28.6 percent of all campaign events over the period from September 7th to October 17th.  On average, Pennsylvania has seen 7.1 percent of all campaign events and 14.2 percent of national campaign ad spending.  As I noted above, Pennsylvania has seen its participation in campaign events drop to a miserable 0.1 percent of the total this cycle, down from 13.4 percent in 2008.  Virginia has seen its "fortunes" rise from 0 percent of both campaign events and ad spending in 2004 to 16.8 percent of campaign events and 17.6 percent of national ad spending in 2012.  Lucky them!  By the way, Pennsylvania has 20 electoral votes compared to Virginia's 13.
 
WIth 61.3 percent of the 2012 campaign events held after the Democratic National Convention being located in only three states, this means that only 38.7 percent were held in the remaining 48 states including Washington, D.C.  If only that were true.  In fact, the remaining 38.7 percent of campaign events were held in just eight states leaving 40 states out in the cold.  A total of 32 states did not/have not hosted a single fall campaign event in both 2008 and 2012.
 
In closing and just in case you weren't aware of the latest population statistics, Florida, Ohio and Virginia have a combined population of 39 million people or just over 12 percent of the total population of the United States.  This means that nearly 273 million Americans are repeatedly getting very little (if any) attention from the presidential campaign tours.  Perhaps the all or none aspect of the Electoral College system really is in need of at least some readjustment.
 
Click HERE to read more of Glen Asher's columns

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