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Republicans are Disturbed, Skeptical and Saddened after Viewing New John McCain Ad

John McCain's Ad - Celeb

Flemington, NJ, July 31, 2008
– Results of a national study conducted today among 320 Americans revealed that a majority of Republicans (61%), reported that they were disturbed, skeptical and saddened after viewing a new ad by John McCain, which likens Barack Obama to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton.
The study was conducted among self-reported Democrats, Republicans and independents by HCD Research and the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion (MCIPO) to obtain Americans’ perceptions of a new ad sponsored by Senator McCain.

“We are not sure whether the negative emotions expressed by viewers were related to their feelings about either candidate or about the way in which the message was delivered,” commented Glenn Kessler, president and CEO, HCD Research. “However, we do know that the ad did not move voters and they expressed negative emotions after viewing the ad.”

While viewing the video, participants indicated their levels of agreement by moving their mouse from left to right on a continuum. The responses were recorded in quarter-second intervals and reported in the form of curves. Participants were also asked pre- and post-viewing questions regarding their support for the candidates. To view detailed results and agreement curves, go to:

Among the study findings:

Emotions Most Felt Among All Parties While Viewing the Ad

  • Among political parties, the emotions most felt by Republicans while watching the ad were “disturbing” (35%), “skepticism” (16%) and “sadness” (10%), compared to Democrats, who reported “skepticism” (44%) and “anger” (24%) and “disturbing” (14%) as the emotions most felt. Independents reported “skepticism” (41%), “disturbing” (18%) and “anger” (18%) as the emotions most felt while watching the ad.

If the 2008 Presidential Election was held today, which of the following best describes who you would vote for?

Prior to Viewing the Ad    After Viewing the Ad
Democrats Democrats
Barack Obama 75% Barack Obama 72%
John McCain 9% John McCain 9%
Other Candidate 3% Other Candidate 4%
Undecided 13% Undecided 15%

Republicans   Republicans
Barack Obama 8% Barack Obama 6%
John McCain 74% John McCain 74%
Other Candidate 2% Other Candidate 2%
Undecided 16% Undecided 18%

Independents   Independents
Barack Obama 44% Barack Obama 43%
John McCain 33% John McCain 34%
Other Candidate 6% Other Candidate 6%
Undecided 18% Undecided 18%

The Media Curves web site provides the media and general public with a venue to view Americans’ perceptions of popular and controversial media events and advertisements.
Editors/Reporters: For more information on the study, or to speak with Glenn Kessler, president and CEO, HCD Research or Chris Borick, Ph.D., director of the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion, please contact Vince McGourty, HCD Research, at (908) 483-9121 or (

HCD Research is a communications research company headquartered in Flemington, NJ.  The company's services include traditional and web-based marketing and communications research.  For additional information on HCD Research, access the company’s web site at or call HCD Research at 908-788-9393.  Headquartered in Allentown, Pennsylvania, MCIPO is a respected source of public opinion data on local, state and national issues. . For additional information on Muhlenberg College, go to

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