Bernie Sanders Dominates Every Other Candidate With 7 Of The 10 Most Popular Campaign Ads

Bernie Sanders releases first 2016 TV ad

Democratic presidential candidate Sanders is dominating the political ad landscape with 7 of the 10 most popular ads of the 2016 campaign.

According to Ashley Rodriguez of Quartz:

Commercials from the Sanders campaign, released over the last 180 days, dominated a list of top political ads ranked by effectiveness by ad-scoring firm Ace Metrix. The scores were based on eight metrics, including whether people enjoyed watching the ads, thought they were persuasive, agreed with the overall messages, were driven to seek more information, learned something from them, thought they were credible, found them relevant, and whether the ads grabbed their attention.


Commercials produced by the Sanders campaign made up seven of the top 10 most-effective ads as determined by overall voters, because they performed well with both Democrats and Independents, the results showed.


Democrats liked the Sanders ads because they consistently focused on increasing family income, equal pay, making college affordable, fair and reasonable health care policies, and fairness in taxation, Mark Bryant, vice president of Ace Metrix Politics, told Quartz. And Independents identified with their aspirational, anti-establishment tone, he said.

There were 11 ads in the top 10 including ties. Gov. John Kasich of Ohio was the only other candidate to place two ads in the top ten. Hillary Clinton and Ben Carson rounded out the list with one ad apiece. The Sanders ads are resonating with Democrats and Independents. The Sanders ads generally aren’t anything flashy or elaborate. Most of the campaign’s ads feature Sanders talking at rallies, or focus on biography.

The fact that Sanders hasn’t run the traditional negative advertising and attack ads helps to explain why his spots are so popular. Voters may react to negative advertising, but negativity is not popular. The unpopularity of negative advertising also helps to explain why Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Jeb Bush are nowhere to be found in the top ten. As a whole, the Republican primary campaign has been much more negative that the Democratic side.

Beyond polling, the success of the Bernie Sanders ads suggests that the senator from Vermont is connecting and resonating with voters on an emotional level. The Sanders campaign is engaging voters in a way that is changing the Democratic primary.

Donald Trump gets all the attention, but Bernie Sanders is the real populist who is the on the cusp of leading a political revolution.