Confirming what many political professionals from both parties have been saying for weeks, Gallup has a new poll out today purporting to show that President Obama’s television ads attacking Mitt Romney for his tenure at Bain Capital have been effective. USA Today reports: “At this point, Obama is the clear winner in the ad wars. Among swing-state voters who say the ads have changed their minds about a candidate, rather than just confirmed what they already thought, 76% now support the president, vs. 16% favoring Romney.”
So why isn’t the Romney campaign responding to Obama’s attempt to define him?
The Romney campaign released a memo this morning explaining why. Bottom line: they think the campaign has been ineffective. Full text of the memo below.
TO: INTERESTED PARTIES
FROM: ROMNEY CAMPAIGN
SUBJECT: THE OBAMA CAMPAIGN’S INEFFECTIVE NEGATIVE AD ONSLAUGHT
DATE: JULY 8, 2012
In light of the dismal economic performance that every day reinforces the failure of President Obama’s policies, the 2008 Obama Campaign’s message of “Hope and Change” has given way to the 2012 Obama Campaign’s message of “Hoping to Change the Subject.” Having given up on pressing a positive message regarding President Obama’s accomplishments (short list) or his plan for helping the economy recover in his second term (null set), the Obama Campaign has decided to leverage its considerable war chest to destroy Mitt Romney as their best strategy. The facts:
1. The Obama Campaign started the General Election with a $100 million advantage.
On April 10, Senator Santorum suspended his campaign, effectively ensuring Governor Romney would win the Republican nomination and marking the beginning of the General Election campaign.
In May (the first full month of the campaign), the Obama campaign began the month with $115 million in cash on hand, compared to the Romney campaign’s $9 million, an advantage of over $100 million.
That cash-on-hand advantage essentially stayed in place through the end of the month (see chart below).
2. The Obama Campaign has outspent the Romney Campaign by almost three-to-one on advertising since Mitt Romney won the primaries.
Since the week of April 16, the first full week of advertising spending after Mitt Romney became the obvious nominee, the Obama campaign has spent $46.2 million in television advertising to the Romney campaign’s $17.0 million (a ratio of 2.7:1).
3. Over 75% of the advertising the Obama campaign has run has been negative, anti-Romney ads, with at least 14 separate negative ads run against Mitt Romney.
According to New York-based Kantar Media’s CMAG, which monitors campaign advertising, of the 68,443 ads that Obama has run on TV (local broadcast, national network & national cable) in the 30-day period ended July 2, 76% of the total (52,016) had an “anti-Romney message.” (SOURCE: http://go.bloomberg.com/political-capital/2012-07-06/10-million-checks-131000-ads-this-aint-your-kinkos-campaign/)
4. Yet, despite all of the negative advertising from the Obama campaign, polling numbers are exactly where they were before they started this onslaught.
The April 11 Pollster.com average ballot had Obama at 46.9% and Romney at 44.2%. The July 5 Pollster.com average ballot is unchanged: Obama at 47.1% and Romney at 44.6%. (SOURCE: http://elections.huffingtonpost.com/pollster/2012-general-election-romney-vs-obama)
5. The Obama Campaign’s hypocrisy knows no bounds.
As noted above, the President’s 2008 campaign of “Hope and Change” has now turned into a campaign of “Hoping to Change the Subject,” and candidate Obama, thought by many voters to be a transformational figure in politics, has turned out to be just another hypocritical politician. Note the following from a Mark Silva piece from Friday:
“I know that sometimes modern campaigns aren’t pretty to watch, because basically so much of it involves millions of dollars on television,” Obama told his audience at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh today. “Most of the ads are negative,” Obama said, “and at a certain point people get discouraged and start feeling like nobody in Washington is listening to what’s going on to ordinary folks all across the country.”
Bemoaning negative ads while running a 75% negative campaign is the height of hypocrisy and reinforces the discouragement and cynicism that Americans feel about our broken political system in Washington DC.