There’s just something about tracking campaign ads across YouTube that is not conducive to binging on an endless loop of accusatory newspaper clippings, conveniently cut soundbites, smack-talk, and shots of candidates strolling with fresh-scrubbed family members or leaning in toward constituents, listening to their concerns.
A new feature the New Republic debuts today has changed that, allowing you to see what all that money has wrought, in one place. For its new 2016 Campaign Ad Archive, it has gathered all of the presidential candidates’ 2016 commercial ads in a database sortable by name, and soon by issues as well. Each ad is accompanied by a transcript, air dates, places it was aired, and the source of the money behind the ad.
That idea, of following super PAC money to its ends, was the impetus behind TNR’s database. When reporters discovered there was no centralized space for those ads, TNR decided to take up that project itself.
The archive is a complement to Ads Wars 2016, a weekly feature from TNR reporter Laura Reston in which she gathers and analyzes the campaign ads that have captured the imagination, or annoyance, of TV audiences across the country, or more likely, in deliberately selected battleground markets.