I can see why the Johnson Campaign's Daisy was controversial. I also know that Johnson won the 1964 United States presidential election. However, how much of a political impact did Daisy really have? Wikipedia tells me "Jack Valenti, who served as a special assistant to Johnson, later suggested that pulling the ad was a calculated move, arguing that "it showed a certain gallantry on the part of the Johnson campaign to withdraw the ad."" This doesn't make clear the real implications and seems hypothetical.

  • VTC as opinion based. There's no objective way to assess the impact of a single 1964 presidential campaign advertisement. The current answer discusses how widely seen it was, but the effect it had is not quantifiable 55 years later.
    – Jontia
    May 7, 2019 at 12:31
  • I wonder if anyone would have understood those two characters 55 years ago.
    – Jontia
    May 8, 2019 at 13:51

1 Answer 1


The sentence right before the one you quote in the wiki article is instructive:

The ad was immediately pulled, but the point was made, appearing on the nightly news and on conversation programs in its entirety.

The commercial became widely known and seen because ABC News and CBS Nightly News broadcast it a lot due to the controversial content, and the nature of the content makes it hard to not form some kind of an opinion on it.

In other words, the impact was widespread awareness of the ad and the controversy.

To make this a tiny bit more relatable: consider the uproar whenever Trump or someone in his team make a controversial tweet or statement. For instance, the frenzy that erupted when Kirstjen Nielsen falsely blamed Congress and the courts for the Trump administration's policy of child separation.

  • This doesn't address the impact, just the profile and distribution. Though to be fair I don't really know how you would address the impact in a concrete manner.
    – Jontia
    May 7, 2019 at 12:29
  • 2
    @Jontia: To me, the impact is widespread awareness of the ad and the controversy. Which seems fairly significant. May 7, 2019 at 12:35
  • @J.D: no idea about long term effects, but in the short term there's research to support the idea that there was awareness convinces. See e.g. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mere-exposure_effect May 9, 2019 at 5:09

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