As we get closer to Election Day, both candidates are in their final push to ensure they’re reaching the key voters that will help them win the election. Like past elections, voters in swing states are a critical group for candidates. With radio reaching 93% of people, it remains a crucial way to connect with voters. In a new report, Nielsen looks at voter listening preferences in three key swing states: Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, where, according to the report radio can reach 16 million voters.
Florida’s culturally diverse population is just one of the reasons why it’s a crucial state in the presidential election. According to Nielsen, a difficulty for candidates is the ability to present a relatable message across the state’s biggest cities and metro areas. One of the ways for a candidate to get around this issue is by using radio. Currently, radio reaches “nine of out 10 Florida voters on an average week.” For example, Adult Contemporary is the top radio format for Democratic voters in Orlando and Republicans in Jacksonville.
Typically a red state, North Carolina’s changing demographics and population breakdown are affecting election results. In the 2008 presidential election for example, the state voted Democrat. Since the state voted Republican four years later, many consider it a swing state. The state’s major metro areas are key places for candidates to connect with voters. Specifically in Charlotte, “Urban and Pop formats reach the majority of the city’s young Democrat voters, whereas Adult Contemporary and Adult Hits formats reach older Democrats.” Interestingly, in Charlotte radio reaches a greater percentage of Republican voters, compared to Democrats and Independents. Overall, the state’s most diverse voters are in the Greensboro-Winston-Salem area.
In the last six presidential elections, Pennsylvania has voted for the Democrat candidate. Recently, however, Republicans are starting to make a push to reach more voters. That said, effectively reaching voters in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh is key for each candidate, where radio reaches over 90% of Democrats, Republicans and Independents. In Philadelphia, for example, a single radio station “has the ability to reach over half of a single voter segment group.”
With this year’s election coming to a close, it’s clear that while voter preferences fluctuate, radio is still one of the most effective ways to reach key voters.