Since 2001, our research into the media habits of 2.4 million Americans has revealed that Democrat voters watch measurably more television than Republican and swing voters. Republican candidates are playing on a media field that is tilted against them. It is easier to find Democratic voters watching television in nearly every daypart and program format. We call this imbalance in TV Gross Ratings Points the “GRP Gap.” The Democrats greatest advantage is during daytime TV when cost-per-point TV spot prices are relatively low. The GRP Gap disappears only during primetime, which is the most expensive daypart on a cost-per-point basis.
This “GRP Gap” gives Democrat candidates an important advantage. Democrats can reach their target voters at a lower cost. For our Republican clients, we’ve developed media research and planning techniques to shrink the GRP Gap.
- During Monday – Friday, the average TV program has a rating among Democrat base voters that is 26% higher than the program’s rating among Republican base voters. In other words, Democrat voters are 26% more likely than Republicans to be watching.
- The Monday-Friday GRP Gap is largest during 9am-4pm daytime viewing, and smallest during primetime.
- Republican voters are easier to find on the weekend. On Saturday and Sunday, the average GRP Gap shrinks to about 6% compared to 26% during Monday – Friday.
Below is the national Monday – Friday GRP Gap graph by broadcast dayparts. These numbers are national averages. The GRP Gap varies significantly from market to market.
“GRP Gap”: Democrat Base voters are 24% more likely to be watching broadcast TV Monday-Friday
Source: NMRPP analysis of Scarborough Research national study; N=208,348 adults 18+. Target Media Index™ and contents © 2001-2012 by NMRPP. Scarborough data is the property of Scarborough Research.
TARGET MEDIA INDEX™ scores: This graph plots television viewing for Base Republicans, Republican Swing voters, and Base Democrats during the course of a typical Monday-Friday broadcast day. These scores are for the national combined audiences of the four major television networks – ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX.
TMI scores compare viewing by all adults (index = 100) to viewing by each target voter group. For example, at 9:00 am, the Base Democrat index score is 120. This means that Base Democrats are 20% more likely than the average adult to be watching television at this time of the day Monday through Friday.