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Reblogged from: Class of 2016. (Go to the original post…)

To:  The Senior Class
From:  Michael McAlear, Marshal of the Faculty
Subject:  Instructions for Commencement

Congratulations – Commencement is just a few days away.

Diploma pick-up will be held on Friday, May 20th between 10 A.M. and 5 P.M. at the Registrar’s Office in North College.  You must have a photo i.d.  When you get your “real” diploma, you will also be given a number – REMEMBER YOUR NUMBER!!!  The number determines (alphabetically) where you will stand in line for the Commencement procession. Tell your friends and relatives your number; there is a map that will show them which aisle you will walk down before you take your seats.

Please report promptly to the top of Foss Hill on Sunday morning, May 22nd by 10:00 A.M. You will be lined up in alphabetical order in 5 groups around the observatory. Look for numbered signs every 75 feet or so to help you spread out. For example:

Seniors Group # 1  (#s 1 – 133)
# 1- 40  Abo to Bar   etc.

The number you were given will tell you where to line up. At each of the five major group signs there will be a faculty assistant marshal who will hand you a card (with your name and number on it). Keep the card, and follow the instructions on it! It will assist you in lining up correctly and as a control (for alphabetical order) as you line up to receive your diploma covers. Your name will not be read out during the ceremony without a card.

The procession will begin promptly at 10:45 A.M., moving down Foss Hill to Wyllys Avenue. When the first of the faculty reach the bottom of the hill, the faculty ranks will divide to create an aisle of honor through which you will march two-by-two. Follow your marshal down the hill and enjoy the professorial applause – job well done!

Once down the hill, continue to follow your faculty marshal towards the library, proceeding through the large tent. Different groups will split and proceed up different aisles for simultaneous seating. Return to a single file, and alphabetic/numeric order to take your seats. Please be seated once you are at your seat.

You will be awarded your degrees after the conferring of the graduate degrees. Joyce Jacobson, Provost of the College, will intone the phrase:  “Mr. President, I have the honor to present these 733 candidates to receive at your hand Wesleyan’s degree of Bachelor of Arts.”  You will stay seated while the president confers the degree, ending with the words: “In testimony of your achievement, I am pleased and proud to present your diplomas.”

Guided by the faculty assistant marshals, the seniors will then file up to the platform in alphabetical order to receive the diploma cover and a warm presidential handshake. As you go up the stairs to the platform, you will hand your card to the faculty marshals stationed there. He or she and Dean Phillips will then confirm that you are in order, and make sure it is your name that is proclaimed as you file past the president. Follow the marshals to the photographer, and then to return to your seats. 

The tossing of caps occurs after the Fight Song. At the end of the ceremony, only the platform party and faculty will form the recessional. Stay in your seats until they have exited, and then join in the reception on the front lawn.

In the unlikely event of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held under the big tent on Andrus field. There will be an announcement made by email to that effect by Saturday afternoon. In this case there will be no procession. Please report to the tent by 10 A.M. There will be numbered signs in the tent with faculty marshals standing nearby handing out numbered cards. After getting your card, go directly to your seat and sit down.

If you arrive late and have no card, you may still be able to have your name read. Place yourself alphabetically in the line and as you file up to the platform, tell your name to the faculty marshal at the bottom of the steps. He or she may be able to find your card and insert you into the list (No guarantees!).

Have a wonderful week and graduation.

Michael A. McAlear
Marshal of the Faculty
Associate Professor
Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Dept.

Reblogged from: Wesconnect News. (Go to the original post…)

In this week’s edition of the Wesleyan Storytelling Project, Hope Neiman ’77 P’14 reminisces on Wesleyan’s sense of community. She looks back on the care and support she received from the school administration, her advisors and professors during a difficult time for her and her family.

[Hope Neiman ’77]

Graduating with a major in Mathematics, Hope Neiman went on to obtain an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1980. Since then she has worked in marketing and advertising for companies both on and offline, and she currently holds the position of Chief Marketing Officer at Tillster. Her daughter, Alexandra Sarkowsky, recently graduated from Wesleyan in 2014.

The Wesleyan Storytelling Project is an opportunity for alumni to share their memories of Wesleyan with each other and the wider community. It is produced by Mia Lobel ’97 and production intern Tess Altman ’17.

Listen to the clip on SoundCloud…

Images: c/o Hope Neiman

Share this link: wesconnect.wesleyan.edu/storytelling-hope-neiman-77


Related links

[Twitter] follow @hopien on Twitter ➞

[LinkedIn] connect with Hope Neiman on LinkedIn ➞

Don’t have a Facebook account, but want to comment? Email us.

Reblogged from: Class of 2016. (Go to the original post…)

President Michael Roth, Dean Mike Whaley, and Dean David Phillips

cordially invite you to a

Class of 2016 Wine & Cheese Reception
Faculty and Graduating Seniors


Wednesday, May 18
5:00-6:00 p.m.

President’s House Lawn
269 High Street


Reblogged from: Wesconnect News. (Go to the original post…)

We’re excited to announce that this year’s recipients are Sally Bachner, associate professor of English, Demetrius Eudell, professor of history, and James Lipton, professor of computer science. Congratulations!

Reblogged from: Wesconnect News. (Go to the original post…)

We’re excited to announce that this year’s recipients are Sally Bachner, associate professor of English, Demetrius Eudell, professor of history, and James Lipton, professor of computer science. Congratulations!

Reblogged from: The WesPress Blog. (Go to the original post…)

The imagined narratives of seven native exiles from the White Earth Nation

Gerald Vizenor creates masterful, truthful, surreal, and satirical fiction similar to the speculative fiction of Margaret Atwood and Neil Gaiman.  In this imagined future, seven natives are exiled from federal sectors that have replaced federal reservations; they pursue the liberty of an egalitarian government on an island in Lake of the Woods.  These seven narrators, known only by native nicknames, are related to characters in Vizenor’s other novels and stories.  Vizenor was the principal writer of the Constitution of the White Earth Nation, and this novel is a rich and critical commentary on the abrogation of the treaty that established the White Earth Reservation in 1867, and a vivid visualization of the futuristic continuation of the Constitution of the White Earth Nation in 2034.

An online reader’s companion is available at http://geraldvizenor.site.wesleyan.edu.

vizenor treatyshirts

Gerald Vizenor is a prolific novelist, poet, literary critic, and citizen of the White Earth Nation of the Anishinaabeg in Minnesota. He is Professor Emeritus of American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. His novels Shrouds of White Earth and Griever: An American Monkey King in China were both honored with the American Book Award, and the latter also received the New York Fiction Collective Award. Vizenor and his wife, Laura, now live in Naples, Florida, making regular visits to both Minnesota and France.

“In writing that’s full of possibilities, Gerald Vizenor delivers to us the native world that should be.”
—Diane Glancy, author of Fort Marion Prisoners and the Trauma of Native Education

Treaty Shirts presents a masterful exhibition of the capacities of stories to create enduring images of natural reason, as it strides the shifty terrain of cultural survivance, treaty rights, and political sovereignty. Perhaps the most impressive is the way Vizenor achieves his goals, not through condemnation but through the humor of tease of stories that are the achievement of a literary artist at the height of his powers.”
—Billy Stratton, author of Buried in Shades of Night

May 10, 2016

148 pp., 6 x 9”

Jacketed Cloth, $24.95 x


eBook, $19.99 Y


Landfill Meditations

Read an excerpt from Landfill Meditations, for an introduction to Gerald Vizenor’s family.


Read an Excerpt from Treaty Shirts: October 2034—A Familiar Treatise on the White Earth Nation

Reblogged from: Wesleyan Media Project. (Go to the original post…)

Presidential Advertising Largely Positive;
Dark Money Flooding Senate Contests



Report Highlights

Advertising volume compared to 2008 and 2012
GOP pres. candidates relying more on outside groups
Top outside group sponsors
Milwaukee, Hartford, Indianapolis saw most ads since March 15
Super PACs pay for over 90% of GOP outside group ads
Candidate ads overwhelmingly positive
Issues featured in ads
Hottest Senate races are in PA, MD and AL
Senate Races: Top outside group sponsors
Senate Races: Dark money groups more active

(MIDDLETOWN, CT) May 12, 2016 – Although the Republican Party has all but wrapped up its nomination race, the Democratic nomination remains a battle, and advertising volume and spending continue to mount. Advertising overall is up 122 percent over cycle-to-date volume at this point in the 2012 contest, and an estimated $408 million has been spent on television advertising in the presidential race so far, $138 million by Democratic candidates and Democratic-leaning groups and $270 million by Republican candidates and Republican-leaning groups (Table 1). That amounts to over 480,000 individual ad airings on local and national broadcast television and on national cable. By comparison, fewer than 220,000 presidential ads had aired by this point in the 2012 cycle at an estimated cost of $120 million.


Table 1: Ad Spending and Volume by Party and Sponsorship

      Candidate Outside Group Party Total
Figures are from Jan 1, 2015, to May 8, 2016. Numbers include broadcast television, national network and national cable television.
CITE SOURCE OF DATA AS: Kantar Media/CMAG with analysis by the Wesleyan Media Project.
Democrats 2008 Ads Aired 239,392 8,412 116 247,920
Row % 96.6% 3.4% 0.0% 100.0%
Est. Cost (in Millions) 135.19 4.96 0.52
2012 Ads Aired 14,543 6,224 9,842 30,654
Row % 47.4% 20.3% 32.1% 100.0%
Est. Cost (in Millions) 5.23 4.21 6.12
2016 Ads Aired 230,582 1,585 232,167
Row % 123.5% 0.8% 124.3%
Est. Cost (in Millions) 135.66 2.38 138.04
% Volume Change Over 2008 -4% -81% -6%
% Volume Change Over 2012 1,486% -75% 657%
Republicans 2008 Ads Aired 78,737 1,060 79,797
Row % 98.7% 1.3% 100.0%
Est. Cost (in Millions) 57.2 0.47
2012 Ads Aired 64,157 122,506 55 186,718
Row % 34.4% 65.6% 0.0% 100.0%
Est. Cost (in Millions) 24.58 78.73 0.02
2016 Ads Aired 114,529 137,772 249,327
Row % 61.3% 72.2% 133.5%
Est. Cost (in Millions) 64.14 206.35 270.5
% Volume Change Over 2008 45% 12,614% 212%
% Volume Change Over 2012 79% 10% 34%


2016 Democratic presidential airings are up notably over 2012 levels when Obama and the Democratic Party were already spending toward the general election, but roughly on par with the 2008 contest between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. On the Republican side, advertising volumes are up 34 percent over the 2012 primaries and 212 percent over 2008 levels.

Notably, the source of the parties’ ad spending was quite different. While over 98 percent of Democratic ad spending was done by the candidates’ campaigns themselves, only 24 percent of Republican ad spending was candidate-sponsored. The rest came from groups, many of them single-candidate super PACs.

Table 2 breaks down ad volumes and spending by which candidate it supports. The table totals counts all airings favoring a candidate including advertising by single-candidate super PACs and other supportive groups; however, advertising against Donald Trump not explicitly in favor of a particular Republican candidate as an alternative are included as a separate line since the beneficiary could have varied. The candidate who has benefited from the most advertising this cycle is Bernie Sanders, with nearly 125,000 airings at a cost of $73.7 million. Hillary Clinton is second, with 105,000 airings at a cost of $62.6 million. On the Republican side, Rubio benefited from the most advertising, with just under 60,000 ad airings. He was followed by Cruz (about 51,000), Bush (about 40,000) and Trump (about 33,000). Notably, anti-Trump messaging (those that did not explicitly advocate for a specific alternative) totaled 17,702 ads.


“One remarkable aspect of this campaign is that the candidates who benefited from the most advertising did not necessarily fare well in the race,” said Travis Ridout, co-director of the Wesleyan Media Project. “Trump managed to become the presumptive Republican nominee in spite of being out-advertised. One reason for this is his amazing ability to attract free media.”


Table 2: Cycle-to-Date Advertising Favoring Each Candidate (Including Supporting Groups)

Favored Candidate Airings Est. Cost
(in Millions)
% Candidate
% Group
Figures are from Jan 1, 2015, to May 8, 2016.
Numbers include broadcast television, national network and national cable television.
All airings favoring a specific candidate are included in the totals; ads that attacked Trump but did not explicitly advocate for an alternative are included in the “Anti-Trump” line.
CITE SOURCE OF DATA AS: Kantar Media/CMAG with analysis by the Wesleyan Media Project.
Sanders, Bernie 124,732 73.7 99.9% 0.1%
Clinton, Hillary 105376 62.6 99.4% 0.6%
Rubio, Marco 59,275 72.7 40.6% 59.4%
Cruz, Ted 51,220 37.6 59.1% 40.9%
Bush, Jeb 39,062 66.9 9% 91%
Trump, Donald 33,050 18.5 100% 0%
Anti-Trump 17,702 24.2 0% 100%
Kasich, John 15,696 18.9 52.9% 47.1%
Carson, Ben 12,116 4.3 100% 0%
Christie, Chris 5,791 14.6 7.1% 92.9%
Perry, Rick 3,441 1.1 0% 100%
Jindal, Bobby 3,413 3.8 0% 100%
Paul, Rand 1,817 1.7 49.8% 50.2%
Huckabee, Mike 1,694 1 24.6% 75.4%
Graham, Lindsey 1,008 1.4 41.7% 58.3%
Fiorina, Carly 761 0.5 84.6% 15.4%


The group that spent the most in the presidential race—and aired the most ads—was Right to Rise, the super PAC supporting Jeb Bush (Table 3). Conservative Solutions PAC, which supported Marco Rubio, aired the second most ads, followed by the pro-Cruz group, Stand for Truth. Our Principles PAC, which aired 7,000 ads attacking Donald Trump, aired the fourth highest number of ads.


Table 3: Top Outside Group Sponsors in the Presidential Race

Sponsor Cycle-to-Date
Total Airings
Est. Cost
(in Millions)
Est. Cost
(in Millions)
Figures are from Jan 1, 2015 to May 8, 2016, and from February 15 to May 8, 2016, respectively, for groups airing more than 1,500 ads.
Numbers include broadcast television, national network and national cable television.
CITE SOURCE OF DATA AS: Kantar Media/CMAG with analysis by the Wesleyan Media Project.
Right To Rise USA (Pro-Bush) 35,558 62.4 3,153 2.9
Conservative Solutions PAC (Pro-Rubio) 30,169 50.9 19,783 34.1
Stand For Truth, Inc (Pro-Cruz) 10,330 9.2 6,119 6.2
Our Principles PAC (Anti-Trump) 7,000 8.4 6,428 8.1
Club For Growth Action 6,548 7.4 5,791 6.3
New Day For America (Pro-Kasich) 5,393 12.4 2,374 3.4
America Leads (Pro-Christie) 5,377 14.2
American Future Fund 5,278 9.1 4,695 8.3
Keep The Promise I (Pro-Cruz) 4,957 6.4 2,632 3
Conservative Solutions Project (Pro-Rubio) 4,882 7.5
Trusted Leadership PAC (Pro-Cruz) 3,461 3.2 3,461 3.2
Opportunity and Freedom PAC (Pro-Perry) 3,441 1.1
Believe Again (Pro-Jindal) 2,409 2.8
New Day Independent Media Committee, Inc (Pro-Kasich) 2,006 3 1,204 1.3
Club For Growth 1,970 2.5 1,970 2.5


Table 4 shows the top media markets from the period following the March 15 primaries just after Rubio dropped out. As shown in the table, Milwaukee, Hartford, and Indianapolis saw the most advertising with each over 4,000 ads. Cruz had large advantages in airings in both Milwaukee and Indianapolis. Sanders has an edge in both Milwaukee and Indianapolis whereas Hartford airings were more even between pro-Clinton and pro-Sanders ads. Salt Lake City and Indianapolis saw the highest volume of Anti-Trump ads.


Table 4: Top Media Markets Following March 15 Primaries (Presidential Ads)

Market State Total
(in 2016)
Figures are from Mar 16, 2016 to May 8, 2016. 
Numbers include broadcast television, national network and national cable television. Excludes markets with fewer than 15 airings.
CITE SOURCE OF DATA AS:  Kantar Media/CMAG with analysis by the Wesleyan Media Project.
Milwaukee WI 4,760 871 506 370 207 1,154 1,652 4/4
Hartford CT 4,491 75 2,119 2,297 4/26
Indianapolis IN 4,381 2,125 707 535 1,014 5/3
New York NY 3,966 14 1,762 2,190 4/19
Philadelphia PA 3,764 206 347 1,175 2,036 4/25
Green Bay WI 3,592 1,000 86 217 240 890 1,159 4/5
Madison WI 3,492 399 601 245 180 782 1,285 4/3
South Bend IN 3,397 1,608 656 311 822 5/3
La Crosse WI 3,138 733 121 203 142 498 1,441 4/5
Phoenix AZ 3,041 438 668 611 1,322 3/22
Salt Lake
UT 2,563 584 541 259 574 605 3/22
Providence RI 2,539 1,005 1,534 4/26
Ft. Wayne IN 2,406 952 536 257 661 5/3
Albany NY 2,380 199 626 1,555 4/19
Terre Haute IN 2,228 974 560 239 455 5/3
Evansville IN 2,201 1,146 407 275 373 5/3
Harrisburg PA 2,197 159 193 814 1,031 4/26
Pittsburgh PA 2,163 165 19 210 717 1,052 4/26
Wilkes Barre PA 2,138 191 201 671 1,075 4/26
Rochester NY 2,081 16 123 686 1,256 4/17
Wausau WI 2,062 649 198 159 110 183 763 4/5
Syracuse NY 2,045 154 801 1,090 4/19
Buffalo NY 2,006 722 1,284 4/19
Tucson AZ 1,703 195 522 972 3/21
Johnstown PA 1,674 196 185 402 891 4/26
Erie PA 1,573 124 246 512 691 4/26
Baltimore MD 1,185 204 491 490 4/26
Louisville KY 1,155 475 680 5/3
Binghamton NY 1,041 68 500 473 4/19
Honolulu HI 1,026 293 733 3/26
Lafayette IN 998 282 225 195 296 5/3
Portland OR 861 169 692 5/3
Seattle WA 751 751 3/25
AZ 738 165 573 3/19
Utica NY 672 83 226 363 4/19
Elmira NY 669 81 246 342 4/18
Watertown NY 667 56 289 322 4/18
Spokane WA 514 514 3/25
Casper WY 432 432 4/9
Yakima WA 391 391 3/26
Juneau AK 387 387 3/25
Idaho Falls-Pocatello ID 325 325 4/3
Twin Falls ID 280 280 3/21
Cheyenne WY 274 274 4/9
Duluth MN 259 259 3/28
Anchorage AK 241 241 3/24
Boise ID 227 226 3/21
Fairbanks AK 173 173 3/25
Burlington VT 163 163 4/19
Billings MT 159 159 4/9
Cincinnati OH 109 108 1 5/3
Lincoln NE 85 85 5/4
Eugene OR 79 79 5/4
Minneapolis MN 64 64 3/29
Salisbury MD 64 64 4/26
North Platte NE 56 56 5/4
Omaha NE 56 56 5/4
Clarksburg WV 37 37 5/8
Charleston WV 36 36 5/6
Rapid City SD 33 33 4/8
Las Vegas NV 23 23 3/17
Wheeling-Steubenville WV 21 21 5/6
Bluefield-Beckley WV 16 16 5/6


Table 5 shows that the states holding the earliest nomination events received the most advertising. The Boston media market, which covers part of New Hampshire, had the most ad airings at 28,915. It was followed closely by Des Moines and Cedar Rapids in Iowa. Sioux City, Iowa, was fourth, followed by Manchester, New Hampshire. Markets in South Carolina, Nevada, Illinois, Wisconsin, Florida and Michigan also saw fairly heavy volumes of advertising in the presidential race.


Table 5: Top Media Markets by Volume and Spending

Media Market Total Airings Estimated Cost
(in Millions)
Figures are from Jan 1, 2015 to May 8, 2016.
Numbers include broadcast television, national network and national cable television.
CITE SOURCE OF DATA AS: Kantar Media/CMAG with analysis by the Wesleyan Media Project.
Boston 28,915 71.00
Des Moines 28,741 17.80
Cedar Rapids 25,333 11.30
Sioux City 18,288 8.70
Manchester, NH 16,774 18.50
Charleston, SC 15,463 8.80
Columbia, SC 13,752 9.90
Davenport 13,645 7.10
Greenville, SC 12,229 15.60
Myrtle Beach 11,532 6.00
Burlington 10,362 7.00
Las Vegas 10,277 9.70
Reno 8,308 2.30
Rochester, MN 7,094 2.00
Omaha 6,061 4.00
Chicago 4,894 17.10
Portland, ME 4,784 2.60
Milwaukee 4,764 3.7
Orlando 4,757 8.8
Detroit 4,648 6.3


Super PACs Dominate Group Ad Spending

Table 6 breaks down interest group spending in the GOP primary nomination campaign by the type of sponsoring organization. Super PACs paid for over 90 percent of non-candidate sponsored advertising, amounting to nearly $190 million, while 501c4 (“dark money”) organizations have sponsored about 9 percent of non-candidate advertising. 527 organizations account for the rest of group-sponsored spending.

Michael Franz, co-director of the Wesleyan Media Project, explained, “The prevalence of super PAC spending is attributed to the proliferation of candidate-specific super PACs, at the moment a phenomenon largely unique to presidential campaigns.” The top three super PACs—listed in Table 3—account for nearly 76,000 airings.


Table 6: Outside Group Ads in GOP Presidential Primary by Type

Type Disclose Donors? Ad Volume Est. Cost
(in Millions)
% of group volume
Figures are from January 1, 2015 to May 8, 2016.
Numbers include broadcast television, national network and national cable television.
CITE SOURCE OF DATA AS: Kantar Media/CMAG with analysis by the Wesleyan Media Project.
Disclosure information from the Center for Responsive Politics.
Super PAC Yes 122,727 188.3 91.07%
501c4 No 11,565 17.9 8.58%
527 Yes 465 0.17 0.35%


Presidential Advertising Largely Positive

The tone of the ad campaign was quite positive, as Table 7 shows. Considering both candidate- and group-sponsored advertising, 76.0 percent of ad airings were positive (mentioning only the sponsoring candidate), 11.3 percent were negative (mentioning only an opponent) and 12.8 percent were contrast (mentioning both the sponsor and an opponent).

“You wouldn’t know it by watching the news media’s coverage of the campaign, but the advertising in this presidential race has been quite positive. Three in four ads on television this race have touted a candidate as opposed to attacking an opponent,” said Erika Franklin Fowler, co-director of the Wesleyan Media Project.

The tone of the race varied considerably depending on who sponsored the advertising. Table 7 shows the tone of advertising for each candidate sponsor. Many candidates aired only positive ads, and those aired by Clinton and Sanders were over 99 percent positive. Across all candidates, about 92 percent of ads were positive. The least positive candidates were Larry Lessig (55.2 percent positive), Ted Cruz (56.3 percent positive) and Donald Trump (70.9 percent positive).


Table 7: Tone of Candidate-Sponsored Advertising

Candidate % Positive % Negative % Contrast
Figures are from Jan 1, 2015 to May 8, 2016.
Numbers include broadcast television, national network and national cable television.
Excludes minor candidates who aired few ads.
CITE SOURCE OF DATA AS: Kantar Media/CMAG with analysis by the Wesleyan Media Project.
Kasich, John 100.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Paul, Rand 100.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Fiorina, Carly 100.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Graham, Lindsey 100.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Gilmore, Jim 100.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Huckabee, Mike 100.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Pataki, George 100.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Sanders, Bernie 99.90% 0.00% 0.10%
Clinton, Hillary 99.60% 0.00% 0.40%
Bush, Jeb 93.70% 0.00% 6.30%
Carson, Ben 93.00% 0.00% 7.00%
Rubio, Marco 85.40% 0.00% 14.60%
Christie, Chris 79.00% 0.00% 21.00%
Trump, Donald 70.90% 12.90% 16.10%
Cruz, Ted 56.30% 18.90% 24.80%
Lessig, Larry 55.20% 0.00% 44.80%
All candidates 91.80% 2.90% 5.30%


Group sponsors were much more negative than candidate sponsors, as Table 8 shows. Just under 36 percent of group-sponsored ad airings were positive, compared to 32.3 percent that were negative and 31.8 percent that made contrasts. Several groups, such as America Future Fund and SEIU, aired only negative ads.


Table 8: Tone of Group Advertising

Sponsor % Positive % Negative % Contrast
Figures are from Jan 1, 2015 to May 8, 2016.
Numbers include broadcast television, national network and national cable television.
Only includes groups that aired at least 100 ads.
CITE SOURCE OF DATA AS: Kantar Media/CMAG with analysis by the Wesleyan Media Project.
Conservative Solutions Project (Pro-Rubio) 100.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Believe Again (Pro-Jindal) 100.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Security Is Strength PAC (Pro-Graham) 100.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Purple PAC (Pro-Paul) 100.00% 0.00% 0.00%
America Next 100.00% 0.00% 0.00%
American Future Project (Pro-Jindal) 100.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Unintimidated PAC (Pro-Walker) 100.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Planned Parenthood Votes 100.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Communications Workers Of American Working Voices 100.00% 0.00% 0.00%
American Opportunity PAC 100.00% 0.00% 0.00%
America Leads (Pro-Christie) 79.00% 4.70% 16.20%
Pursuing America’s Greatness (Pro-Huckabee) 65.60% 0.00% 34.40%
SEIU COPE 62.70% 37.30% 0.00%
New Day Independent Media Committee, Inc (Pro-Kasich) 55.40% 11.90% 32.70%
Opportunity And Freedom PAC (Pro-Perry) 48.50% 0.00% 51.50%
Right To Rise USA (Pro-Bush) 39.80% 25.00% 35.20%
Keep The Promise I (Pro-Cruz) 38.90% 33.50% 27.50%
Conservative Solutions PAC (Pro-Rubio) 38.80% 18.50% 42.70%
Trusted Leadership PAC (Pro-Cruz) 37.30% 42.60% 20.10%
America’s Liberty PAC (Pro-Paul) 37.00% 0.00% 63.00%
New Day For America (Pro-Kasich) 19.30% 0.00% 80.70%
Stand For Truth, Inc (Pro-Cruz) 0.00% 51.00% 49.00%
Our Principles PAC (Anti-Trump) 0.00% 100.00% 0.00%
Club For Growth Action 0.00% 77.70% 22.30%
American Future Fund 0.00% 100.00% 0.00%
Club For Growth 0.00% 65.40% 34.60%
Foundation For A Secure And Prosperous America 0.00% 100.00% 0.00%
ESA Fund 0.00% 100.00% 0.00%
SEIU 0.00% 100.00% 0.00%
Generation Forward PAC (Pro-O’Malley) 0.00% 0.00% 100.00%
American Encore 0.00% 100.00% 0.00%
Californians For Population Stabilization 0.00% 100.00% 0.00%
Carly For America Committee (Pro-Fiorina) 0.00% 0.00% 100.00%
We The People, Not Washington 0.00% 100.00% 0.00%
Total 35.90% 32.30% 31.80%


Presidential Candidates’ Issue Focus

The issue focus of presidential advertising has differed depending on the favored candidate as shown in Table 9. Ads promoting Clinton have tended to highlight women’s rights, health care and education while ads promoting Sanders have focused on Wall Street, the economy and financial services. On the Republican side, pro-Cruz and pro-Trump ads were more likely to focus on immigration while pro-Rubio spots highlighted foreign affairs and pro-Kasich ads featured the budget as the top issue.


Table 9: Top Three Issue Mentions by Favored Candidate (Including Supporting Groups)

Favored Candidate Top Issue 2nd Issue 3rd Issue
Analysis based on ads aired from Jan 1, 2016 to May 8, 2016.
Numbers include broadcast television, national network and national cable television.
CITE SOURCE OF DATA AS: Kantar Media/CMAG with analysis by the Wesleyan Media Project.
Pro-Clinton Women’s Rights Healthcare Education
Pro-Sanders Wall Street Economy Financial Services
Pro-Cruz Immigration Healthcare/Anti-ACA Faith
Pro-Kasich Budget Jobs Taxes
Pro-Rubio Foreign Affairs Public Safety Economy
Pro-Trump Immigration Foreign Affairs Energy / Environment


Senate Races Heating Up

Advertising in Senate contests is heating up rapidly as shown in Table 10 with Pennsylvania’s senatorial race seeing nearly double the ads of the number two contest. Incumbent Republican Pat Toomey and his outside group allies have already aired 6,514 ads (3,376 sponsored by Toomey himself) at an estimated cost of $9.4M while the three-way Democratic Pennsylvania contest between Joe Sestak, John Fetterman and Katie McGinty has racked up 15,795 airings at an estimated $22.9M from the candidates themselves and supporting groups.

Maryland’s contest to replace retiring Senator Barbara Mikulski has seen a total of 11,861 ads cycle-to-date primarily from the Democratic hopefuls (e.g., Chris Van Hollen has sponsored 5,046 airings to Donna Edwards’ 1,200). Alabama’s senatorial race is a close third with 11,412 airings to date. Incumbent Republican Richard Shelby has dominated the airwaves with 8,631 airings to Jonathan McConnell’s 2,088. Ohio (ranked #4 with 10,909 airings) and Wisconsin (ranked #5 with 9,363 airings) have also seen heavy activity on both sides of the aisle.


Table 10: Top Senate Races to Date

State All Airings Pro-Democratic Pro-Republican
Figures are from Jan 1, 2015 to May 8, 2016.
Numbers include broadcast television, national network and national cable television.
CITE SOURCE OF DATA AS: Kantar Media/CMAG with analysis by the Wesleyan Media Project.
Airings % Group Est. Cost
(in Millions)
Airings % Group Est. Cost
(in Millions)
PA 22,309 15,795 29% 22.9 6,514 48.20% 9.4
MD 11,861 11,614 46% 12.9 247 0.00% 0.2
AL 11,412 79 0.00% 0 11,333 5.40% 6.8
OH 10,909 5,150 81% 5.3 5,759 100.00% 8.4
WI 9,363 4,742 63% 3.7 4,621 100.00% 5.7
IN 6,215 0 6,215 29.50% 5.3
IL 5,687 3,546 44% 7.3 2,141 13.80% 1.8
NV 5,526 2,605 3% 1.7 2,921 100.00% 3
NH 3,737 1,306 97% 1.7 2,430 73.00% 3.4
CO 3,143 2,052 40% 1.8 1,091 99.70% 1.3
FL 1,887 14 0% 0 1,873 0.00% 1.9
IA 1,450 522 100% 0.3 887 100.00% 0.9
MO 1,211 195 100% 0.3 1,016 100.00% 1.6
KY 1,171 1,171 0% 0.5 0
NC 793 294 0% 0.4 499 0.00% 0.4
AR 631 0 631 19.00% 0.4
AZ 485 0 485 100.00% 0.5
WA 288 288 100% 0.4 0
GA 147 0 147 0.00% 0.1
CA 22 0 0


All told, 98,247 Senate ads have aired this cycle, just under the 100,676 Senate ads that had aired by this point in time in the 2012 cycle.

Several groups are already involved in advertising in the 2016 Senate races, having spent $71 million already. As Table 11 shows, airing the most ads was Women Vote, a super PAC affiliated with Emily’s List, which was involved in primary races in Maryland and Pennsylvania. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has started advertising in Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Nevada, Ohio and Pennsylvania—all potential Senate battlegrounds.


Table 11: Most Active Groups in Senate Races

Group Airings Est. Cost
(in Millions)
States Advertising in
Figures are from Jan 1, 2015 to May 8, 2016.
Numbers include broadcast television, national network and national cable television.
CITE SOURCE OF DATA AS: Kantar Media/CMAG with analysis by the Wesleyan Media Project.
Women Vote 5,049 7.4 MD, PA
U.S. Chamber Of Commerce 4,350 6.3 AZ, IL, IN, NV, OH, PA
One Nation 4,193 8.5 IA, IN, MO, NH, NV, OH, PA
Americans For Prosperity 3,839 4.6 NH, OH, WI
Senate Majority PAC 2,451 3.8 NH, NV, OH
Judicial Crisis Network 2,162 2.7 AZ, CO, IA, NH, PA, WI
League Of Conservation Voters 1,930 2 WI
American Chemistry Council 1,648 2.2 MO, OH, PA
Concerned Veterans For America 1,596 1.6 NV, PA
New Leadership For Ohio 1,579 1.3 OH
Environmental Defense Action Fund 1,576 3.6 PA, WI
Freedom Partners Action Fund 1,363 1.7 NV, OH, WI
Working For Us PAC 1,241 1.9 MD
Accountable Leadership 1,111 2.7 PA
End Citizens United 1,000 0.8 IA, MO, NH
Club For Growth Action 938 1.4 PA, WI
Restoration PAC 896 1.5 WI
Senate Leadership Fund 874 1.4 IN
Sierra Club 856 1 OH
Natural Resources Defense Council 1,750 5.1 IL, OH


Dark Money Flooding Senate Races

Finally, Table 12 breaks outside group spending in Senate races by the type of organization. Dark money in Senate races makes up a much greater percentage of total group spending than in the presidential race. Roughly 59 percent of outside group spending has been sponsored by 501c organizations, which are not required to disclose their donors. Thirty-five percent has come from super PACs (such as Women Vote and Senate Majority PAC), which do disclose.


“Presidential candidates can count on some free air time from news outlets as the race for the White House dominates the media’s attention,” said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics. “Senate candidates don’t have that luxury. They and their allies need to pay to get their message out in their state, and they’re leaning more than ever on groups that can accept unlimited anonymous contributions.”


Table 12: Outside Group Ads in Senate Races by Type

Type Disclose Donors? Ad Volume Est. Cost
(in Millions)
% of group volume
Figures are from January 1, 2015 to May 8, 2016.
Numbers include broadcast television, national network and national cable television.
*Natural Resources Defense Council (501c3) aired attacks against Rob Portman (R-OH) and Mark Kirk (R-IL).
CITE SOURCE OF DATA AS: Kantar Media/CMAG with analysis by the Wesleyan Media Project.
Disclosure information from the Center for Responsive Politics.
Super PAC Yes 16,102 24.2 33.5%
501c3* No 1,750 5.1 3.6%
501c4 No 20,803 35.1 43.3%
501c6 No 5,998 8.5 12.5%
Corporation No 10 13.7 0.02%
PAC Yes 3,409 3.3 7.1%



About This Report


Data reported here do not cover local cable buys, only broadcast television, national network and national cable buys. All cost estimates are precisely that: estimates. Disclosure categorization information on outside groups comes from the Center for Responsive Politics.

The Wesleyan Media Project provides real-time tracking and analysis of all political television advertising in an effort to increase transparency in elections. Housed in Wesleyan’s Quantitative Analysis Center – part of the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life – the Wesleyan Media Project is the successor to the Wisconsin Advertising Project, which disbanded in 2009. It is directed by Erika Franklin Fowler, assistant professor of government at Wesleyan University, Michael M. Franz, associate professor of government at Bowdoin College and Travis N. Ridout, professor of political science at Washington State University. Laura Baum is the Project Manager. Dolly Haddad is the Project Coordinator and Matthew Motta is the Research Associate.

The Wesleyan Media Project
is supported by grants from The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Wesleyan University. Data provided by Kantar Media/CMAG with analysis by the Wesleyan Media Project using Academiclip, a web-based coding tool. The Wesleyan Media Project is partnering this year with both the Center for Responsive Politics, to provide added information on outside group disclosure, and Ace Metrix, to assess ad effectiveness.

Periodic releases of data will be posted on the project’s website and dispersed via Twitter @wesmediaproject.
For more information contact:
Lauren Rubenstein, lrubenstein@wesleyan.edu, (860) 685-3813

About Wesleyan University
Wesleyan University, in Middletown, Conn., is known for the excellence of its academic and co-curricular programs. With more than 2,900 undergraduates and 200 graduate students, Wesleyan is dedicated to providing a liberal arts education characterized by boldness, rigor and practical idealism. For more, visit www.wesleyan.edu.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.

About the Center for Responsive Politics
The Center for Responsive Politics is the nation’s premier research group tracking money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy. Nonpartisan, independent and nonprofit, the organization aims to create a more educated voter, an involved citizenry and a more transparent and responsive government. CRP’s award-winning website, OpenSecrets.org, is the most comprehensive resource available anywhere for federal campaign contribution and lobbying data and analysis.

Reblogged from: Wesleyan Photo. (Go to the original post…)

On May 7, Master drummer Abraham Adzenyah, adjunct professor of music, emeritus, was honored with a ceremony, farewell concerts, and reunion featuring past and present students. Adzenyah taught West African music, dance and culture at Wesleyan for 46 years and retired in May.

Reblogged from: Wesleyan Photo. (Go to the original post…)

The Center for the Arts hosted a West African Drumming and Dance performance May 6 in Crowell Concert Hall. The program was coordinated by Iddi Saaka, artist-in-residence and John Wesley Dankwa, a PhD candidate in ethnomusicology. Students in West African Dance I and III performed with help from drumming students. 

Reblogged from: Class of 2016. (Go to the original post…)

Senior Voices 2016
Wesleyan’s Baccalaureate Ceremony

Saturday, May 21
6:00 p.m.
Memorial Chapel

Seniors, Families & Friends

Listen as your peers share some of their unique and transformative moments from their years at Wesleyan.

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 10.14.40 AM

Associate Professor Andrea Roberts (Chemistry)
will address the graduating class.

Reflections by

Alison Denzer-King
Cyrus Nury
Austin Tamaddon
Abigail Gruppuso

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