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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Obama Attack Ads Showing Poor Return on Investment



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From the Tuesday edition of the Morning Jolt:

Americans Surprisingly Enthusiastic About Guy Demonized in Obama Attack Ads

So, is it possible that Obama’s investment in attack ads have turned out like his investment of our money in Solyndra?

USA Today:

By more than 2-1, 63%-29%, those surveyed say Romney’s background in business, including his tenure at the private equity firm Bain Capital, would cause him to make good decisions, not bad ones, in dealing with the nation’s economic problems over the next four years.

The findings raise questions about Obama’s strategy of targeting Bain’s record in outsourcing jobs and hammering Romney for refusing to commit to releasing more than two years of his tax returns. Instead, Americans seem focused on the economy, where disappointment with the fragile recovery and the 8.2% unemployment rate are costing the president.

This would be good news normally, but it’s almost as if the Angry Gods of Politics are smiting Axelrod & Co. with their wrath, as this indicates that as the Obama campaign attacks Romney’s business record, voters like it even more.

Sean Trende asks:

What do the facts actually show? We know that Obama heavily outspent Romney in June, in part because the Romney campaign can’t yet spend funds earmarked for the general election. We know that these ads have focused incessantly on the presumptive GOP nominee’s experience at Bain Capital, and that they are quite good. We know that the media has piled on, with questions about when Romney’s tenure at Bain ended and why he refuses to provide the traditional number of income tax returns. And we know that the president leads Romney in the RCP Averages, both nationally and in most of the swing states.

…The results? On average, the polls have moved two-tenths of a point toward the president during this time period. That’s net movement, by the way, meaning that he’s moved up a tenth of a point and Romney has moved down a tenth of a point, on average. Looking at state polls only, we see marginal movement toward Romney. If we look at only the swingiest of swing states — Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia — we see about two-thirds of a point movement toward Obama. That’s not much bang for the buck.

…The superficial takeaway is that this is bad news for the president. He’s unleashed something of a “shock and awe” campaign and fired off what many think is one of his most damaging bullets against Romney, with little to show for it.

Allahpundit: “The man’s nothing if not consistent. He campaigns as he governs, spending astounding sums to little effect.”


Tags: Barack Obama , Mitt Romney


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