Biden & Trump Pour Big Money Into AM/FM As Radio Proves Vital


    “Meeting voters where they are,” is the reasoning behind President Joe Biden’s multi-million dollar radio advertising push in battleground states, announced on Friday. The six-week push comes as former President Donald Trump also turns to the reach of AM/FM.

    With Nikki Haley’s exit from the GOP Primary post-Super-Tuesday, it is all but guaranteed that the 2024 Presidential election will be a rematch of the hotly contested 2020 matchup between Biden and Trump. With both sides looking for an edge, President Biden’s camp is pouring $30 million in total ads and strategic tours across pivotal battleground states.

    Besides radio, the campaign involves television and digital platforms, with a particular emphasis on the NCAA College Basketball tournament this month. The radio adds are targeting key multicultural demographics that were crucial to Biden’s 2020 win, including Black, Hispanic, and Asian American and Pacific Islander voters.

    States involved include Pennsylvania, Georgia, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona, and Nevada.

    Biden Campaign Chair Jen O’Malley Dillon told CBS News, “We know it was a close election in 2020. We know that we have an extraordinary amount of work to do to make sure that the American people are hearing from this campaign.”

    Biden’s investment comes as former President Trump’s largest super PAC, MAGA Inc., is halfway through a radio campaign in Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Michigan targeting Black and Hispanic male voters. The ad campaign will run until the end of March, with a total expenditure of $380,000 distributed across the three states, per Axios.

    The Democratic National Committee already spent six figures in traditional radio and print ads aimed at engaging Black, Latino, and Native American voters in Michigan alone. This strategic focus on AM/FM radio leverages its proven appeal among multicultural audiences, amid findings from numerous studies that underscore radio’s effective reach.

    Katz Local Vote data reveals the high political engagement and radio listenership among Hispanic and Black voters, illustrating the strategic rationale behind the both parties’ targeted advertising efforts.

    With 73% of the 45.1 million Hispanic adults in the US showing high political engagement and an 83% voter participation rate among registered voters in this demographic, radio’s 85% listenership outperforms broadcast TV’s engagement levels. Similarly, the Black adult population in the US, totaling 33.6 million, exhibits strong political involvement with 86% registered to vote and 85% consistently voting.

    Radio listenership among Black voters stands at 83%, surpassing the broadcast TV viewership rate, further emphasizing radio’s pivotal role in reaching and mobilizing these key voter groups.

    Radio Ink discussed AM/FM’s multicultural voter reach with Audacy SVP of Research and Insights Idil Cakim, and she told us, “I think it goes back to the local voice, with the authenticity and the objective reporting that radio brings to these voters. When we look at Hispanic voter trends and African American voter trends, first of all, as radio listeners, they’re incredibly loyal.”

    “This is the one medium that not only brings them information, but a discussion forum and makes them feel like they’re part of the community. That’s how radio can effectively mobilize these audiences that may not feel well-served through other channels.”


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