Analysis: How Partisan Is Today’s Senate?

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By all accounts, the outcome of the 2020 election is historic.

President Trump became only the fourth elected incumbent in the last century to lose, while not one of the 166 Republicans seeking reelection to the House of Representatives lost.

Despite the enormous impact of Biden’s win, it is ushered in by fewer votes than Trump’s shocking win in 2016. If roughly 60,000 Americans in three states made different choices, Donald Trump would have earned 278 electoral votes and still be president. This holds true despite the highest turnout since 1900 and the popular vote margin expanding by about 5.5 million votes in Biden’s favor.

This election also saw the fewest state house switches since 1946, and for the first time since 1884, a Democrat president will take the oath of office without the benefit of a friendly Senate and is governing with the narrowest majority in the House for either party since 1919.

With that in mind, we did an analysis of Senate delegations to predict future trends and understand the true impact of polarization on both elections and governance at the federal level.

To view the interactive map and make your own analysis – click here.

Our analysis looked to discover if senate delegations had senators from the same party or different parties and how that changed over time. The results are fun to sift through and, in many ways, reflect changing regional partisan trends across America.

Here are some interesting facts:

  • Our current Senate is the most partisan senate since World War 2, with just six states having bipartisan delegations. The last time the country experienced this level of political uniformity was in the 1950s.
  • Since World War 2, the Senate has seen more Democratic leadership than Republican with 67% of the 42 Senates being Democrat. From 1939 to 1981, Republicans controlled the Senate only twice for a total of just four years in the majority.
  • The 116 and 117 senates are historically conservative. Their nearest comparators are the 109th Senate in 2005, during the second half of the Bush Administration, and the 84th Senate during the second half of Eisenhower’s first term.
  • Split ticket delegations peaked in the late 1970s and were common throughout most of the 1980s. GOP representation was most consolidated in the 1980s when their single delegation strength peaked.
  • Of the 33 seats up in 2022, 19 are Republican. Trump only won two states with split delegations and neither of them will be on the ballot in ’22.

Four Checks You Can Do TODAY to Get the MOST from Your End-of-Quarter Advertising

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Politico will publish its list of top fundraisers from Q2. Will you be in it?

For some campaigns, their end-of-quarter push can account for more than one-third of their total fundraising in that quarter — for some, it’s even more.

That’s why end-of-quarter is make or break time for campaigns. No matter how ‘good’ of a district you’re running in, it’s fundraising excellence that truly separates top-tier candidates from the rest of the pack.

CDI Ads was the top buyer of political acquisition and fundraising advertising in 2020, placing more than $20 million in media. We dove into our data to reveal what made our most successful end-of-quarter campaigns exceptional.

Here are four checks you can do today to maximize your end-of-quarter success with ads:

1. Use Video: If there’s an undeniable king of creatives on Facebook, it’s video. Authentic, selfie-style video was our top driver of donations — which makes sense! Marketing data shows:

  • Almost half of Facebook advertising earnings comes from mobile-first video ads.
  • Compared to a static post, users will spend 5 times more on a post that contains a video. And don’t forget to add captions — they boost viewing times by up to 12%.

2. Have Clear Calls to Action: Ads with clear CTAs have substantially higher click-through rates compared to ads that did not.

Use direct action-oriented terms:

  • Donate Now
  • Take Action
  • Chip In

But beware — Facebook penalizes engagement baiting in post text! So save those action-oriented phrases for images and find novel ways to identify motivation to click inside your post text.

3. Avoid the Learning Phase: Facebook uses machine learning to optimize the delivery of your campaign through a process it calls “the learning phase.”

What is the learning phase? During this period, Facebook is testing:

  • Audiences
  • Delivery times
  • Placements
  • Creatives
  • And more

…all using your money. When an ad set reaches roughly 50 optimization events within a seven-day period, the learning phase ends, and the CPA stabilizes.

We found the best ways to avoid learning phase problems are to hold off on significant changes (which reset the learning phase), and limit your ad sets.

4. Use Look-a-Like Audiences: Custom audiences were by far the most productive source of donors for our campaigns. Facebook uses algorithms to create highly targeted audiences whose demographics and interests are similar to those of your existing page followers or of an upload list, like previous campaign donors. Letting Facebook identify targets you wouldn’t ordinarily reach with your regular ad targeting is an easy form of optimizing your media spend that anyone can do.

What end-of-quarter tactics will you focus on?

If you don’t know where to start or aren’t getting the results you think you deserve, let CDI Ads have a try! Email us at and we’re happy to design and launch end-of-quarter ads for your campaign

Vertical Video Ads are Coming to YouTube

YouTube is embracing vertical video ads to let brands “provide a more seamless mobile experience” for viewers, it revealed at Dmexco today (12 September) where it also revealed plans to sell advertisers video ads based on users’ personalised home feeds.

Advertisers can now snap up slots that fill up a users’ screen when they’re viewing content on YouTube’s mobile app in a similar way to the ads served by the likes of Instagram and Snapchat.

When viewers tap on a vertical video ad they can be redirected an external link, like a company website.

Hyundai is among the brands to have trialed the new creative format, which expands based on the dimensions of the video.

YouTube’s chief product officer Neal Mohan said that, when used in combination with the Google-owned platform’s classic horizontal video formats, the test campaign to promote the automaker’s most recent SUV model resulted in a 33% uplift in brand awareness and a 12% uptick in purchase consideration.

YouTube has long accommodated vertical video uploaded by users – “dynamically adapting” ratios for mobile in line with the way a video has been shot, but today’s announcement marks the first time the company is letting brands serve bespoke vertical creative within its walls.

“It’s actually something we had been hearing from advertisers and their creative agencies for some time, and now we’re happy to deliver it and my expectation is that what they do with it will exceed our expectations from a creativity standpoint,” Mohan told The Drum.

The feature will be available to advertisers buying TrueView products (which brands only pay for it users opt-in to view their ads) and Universal app campaigns.

With more than 70% of YouTube watch time happening on mobile devices and changes in user behaviour owing to the likes of Snapchat, the move makes sense.

“As more video gets shot vertically, we want to take advantage of the full canvas and not just have it rammed into the horizontal [layout] with black bars on the side,” explained Mohan.

YouTube also announced that it will let brands buy inventory in individuals’ Home feeds, meaning companies can serve tailored content against a person’s personalised recommendations.

Mohan said the amount of watch time driven by recommendations on YouTube’s home feed has grown 10-fold over the past three years.

“Just like it’s this engaging place for users, we think it can be a great place for advertisers to connect with them,” he said, adding that both video and “rich display” ads will be able to be bought in this context.

YouTube’s move to bulk up its mobile arsenal comes amid growing competition from Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat. The former two platforms have recently rolled out their own fresh video propositions in the form of IGTV and Facebook Watch offering a challenger to YouTube’s flagship offering.

Google Responsive Display Ads Roll Out as New Default Display Format

Google announced this week that responsive display ads (RDA) will be rolling out to all advertisers over the next few months.

Much like Google’s responsive search ads, advertisers provide several inputs and the ads get assembled on the fly by Google’s machine learning algorithms.

Advertisers can add up to 15 images, five headlines, five descriptions and five logos for responsive display ads.

Performance is broken out by asset in a new report located under “View asset details” from the “Ads & extensions” section (as shown in the screen shot above). In the performance column, Google will provide a rating of Best, Good or Low. If there is not enough data collected on an asset, it will be tagged with “Learning.”

The formats will look familiar (examples shown below). Google touts the benefits of responsive ads as time-saving and offering broader reach, as the ads can resize to fit most inventory, including native banner ads and dynamic text ads.

This format also supports dynamic remarketing. To create dynamic responsive display ads, simply associate a feed with your RDA campaign. Google may automatically show tags such as “new,” “hot” or “price drop” on products when appropriate, based on the feed.

See the Google Ads help page for more details on creating RDA campaigns.

Google has been moving in this direction for years now, first introducing responsive ads for display that automatically resize in 2016. Those had fewer asset options, however, and responsive display ads will replace responsive ads for display as they roll out. And then there are Google’s Smart display campaigns which automate just about every aspect of the campaign, from ad creation to bidding. For advertisers that want full control over how their display ads appear, there is still the option to upload your own display ads.

Facebook Updates Ad Metrics to Provide a More Holistic View

Today, people interact with businesses across different platforms and channels—both online and offline. To help businesses better understand the various ways people interact with their business and market accordingly, Facebook has long offered standard events via the Facebook pixel, the Facebook SDK with App Events and the ability to upload offline conversion data. Events are actions that happen on your website, in your app or in person. Standard events are a structured way of communicating these actions to Facebook so they can be used to inform ad targeting, optimization and measurement solutions. Starting today, we’re adding more standard events to serve businesses with various objectives.

Introducing new standard events

In the coming weeks, we’re rolling out more ways to understand the actions people take on your website, in your app or at your store with eight new standard events: Contact, Customize Product, Donate, Find Location, Schedule, Start Trial, Submit Application and Subscribe. Since people interact differently with a business when shopping for shoes vs. when buying a car, we created these new standard events to enable more businesses to understand customer engagement both online and offline. You can learn more about app and pixel events on Facebook Business.

In addition to the new standard events which are available across web, app and offline, we’re introducing two app-specific events: Ad Click and Ad Impression. Ad Click and Ad Impression help apps that monetized with ads understand how people coming to their app from Facebook are engaging in-app.

Updating ad metrics to provide a more holistic view

People interact with businesses across different platforms and channels, so it’s important to evaluate ad performance holistically to account for all the ways people may have interacted with your business and the impact those interactions had on your business results. That’s why we’re replacing cost metrics that only report on interactions on a single channel with metrics that report on the cost of these actions across web, mobile and offline. For example, we’re replacing Cost per Website Purchase, Cost per Mobile App Purchase and Cost per Offline Purchase with a single Cost per Purchase metric. This metric aggregates and collectively reports purchases across all three channels as part of a single, new metric.

You can still calculate channel-specific cost per metrics by dividing your total spend by the number of conversions from the channel you’re interested in. Visit the Advertiser Help Center for a full list of metrics being removed and see what to use in their places.

We also redesigned the customize column selector in Ads Manager to consolidate website, mobile and offline metrics. Previously, you had to select three separate metrics if you wanted a holistic measure of purchases across these channels. Now, you can get this reporting just by selecting one metric.

These improvements are part of our ongoing efforts to build solutions that empower businesses to understand customer interactions and drive better business results.