Politics & Entertainment

Apathy seemed to be the overwhelming winner of the November 4 election.  Only one in three eligible voters turned out in the 2014 mid-term elections, the lowest turnout since World War II.  Those voters who did cast their ballots seemed to send a strong message of dissatisfaction for the current state of politics and infighting in Washington, D.C. A common sentiment among voters of all political leanings was to stop the bickering and bring about real reform and economic progress.

Turnout among young voters was noticeably light, and other Democrat-leaning voters who aren’t necessarily happy with the current policies – but also not willing to cast a vote for the other party – stayed home. Taking advantage of the low turnout was the Republican Party, and the 2014 mid-elections brought about a shift back to a more conservative leadership in Washington. Republicans retook control of the Senate and increased their majority in the House of Representatives by at least 10 seats.

Where did entertainment fare in the wake of the elections? While a conservative movement sometimes spells closer scrutiny and tighter restrictions in media and entertainment, there were positives for the industry in the process. The good news for the industry during the election cycle was that a staggering $4 billion dollars was spent on the election, and a good chunk of it was spent on advertising. A number of outlets benefited from the hotly contested races in some 14 states – everything from radio, TV, direct mail, social media, production, design, talent and more.

While the nation’s capital may be known as the “Hollywood for ugly people,” the real Hollywood stayed relatively mum on candidate endorsements and inactive in political donations this cycle. Said to be saving their dollars and energy for the 2016 presidential race, many in the entertainment industry gave directly to individual candidates, and did so in smaller amounts than in the last mid-term election in 2010.

Of note in media circles this election cycle was the topic of net neutrality and the various candidates’ views on whether content providers should have to pay a premium to reach their users. Standing in the way of a free and unfettered Internet are media giants like Comcast and Verizon, which see dollar signs from bandwidth hogs like Netflix and others, and charge those content providers for faster streaming to end users.

All in all, the election results, which favored the Republicans, were tempered by the low turnout and voter apathy. The political landscape in Washington isn’t expected to have a measurable impact on entertainment. If anything, the resignation of many Americans that the next two years will likely reveal more gridlock and “politics as usual” will encourage consumers to disconnect from the daily news and plug into media and entertainment in droves. Movies, music, television and video games could be the beneficiaries of an increasingly frustrated and apathetic populace.

For those interested in entertainment careers, check out our database of music jobs, television jobs, movie jobs and more. 

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