Study: Clinton's ‘Middle-of-the-Night Phone Call’ Ad Has Little Effect

According to a study by HCD Research, Sen. Hillary Clinton's (D-N.Y.) "middle-of-the-night phone call" ad had only a slight effect on its target voters.

HCD got 554 self-described Democrats and independents to view the ad online, asking them some questions before and after the viewing.

According to the study, 33% of respondents favored Clinton prior to watching the ad, while 35% did so afterward. But the ad helped Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) a little, as well. While 36% said beforehand that they supported Obama, 37% said so after watching it.

And the ad actually made a handful of Clinton supporters move to the Obama camp, with the 100% likely to vote for Clinton slipping to 98%, although it also had its desired affect on 3% of the Obama voters, with 97% of his supporters saying they were still inclined to vote for him.

Among undecided voters, 7% said the ad made them more likely to vote for Clinton, while 5% said it pushed them toward Obama.

There was no word on how Clinton's appearance on Saturday Night Live might have moved the needle.

Clinton and Obama face a crucial set of primaries Tuesday, including Texas and Ohio, which could be make-or-break for Clinton and a momentum-breaker for Obama if one or both go Clinton's way.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.