Ad War Update: Super Hacks

Sep 25 2012 @ 8:13pm

The Obama campaign is out with another variation of the 47%-related ad they released yesterday, and this one has a larger scope, airing in eight states (ad buy size unknown):

The campaign also released two web videos going after Romney, one bringing up a healthcare-related comment he made during last weekend's "60 Minutes" and the other using testimonials to cast a negative light on Romney's education record as governor. Nothing new from the Romney campaign today, and Maggie Haberman passes along word that, despite its numbers in the polls, the campaign is perfectly happy with the less-targeted approach it has been pursuing with its ads:

This has been a difference between the Romney campaign and the Obama campaign throughout the last several months. The Obama campaign has had a number of tailored, surgically-applied ads depending on the market; the Romney campaign has, at least in the ads released and captured by media trackers, stayed more with a singular approach.

Meanwhile, the RNC is continuing the GOP's kitchen sink approach in trying to thump Obama for having referred to the recent embassy attacks as "bumps in the road". After showing lots of chaotic footage, the web video calls the president's response a "crisis of leadership":

While a report from the Times today suggests the GOP Super PACs are "synchronizing" their ad messages, the WSJ's Neil King Jr. reports that so far the effect of outside spending on both the presidential and down-ticket races seems to have been minimal – at least as far as actually moving the poll numbers. One example they cite:

In Ohio, nearly $18 million in super PAC attack ads have targeted Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown since last year, almost double what he spent in total to win election six years ago, records show. Yet he remains ahead of his opponent, state Treasurer Josh Mandel, by 7.2 percentage points in a running average of polls.

And Sherrod Brown's campaign released a pretty impressive one minute ad today championing a bill he sought in response to a fatal bus accident in Ohio:

Regardless of the effect the ads are having, Rove's Crossroads groups are still targeting Democratic Senate candidates, sinking $5.5 million into five races, including another ad in Ohio. Here is a new ad hitting Senator Bill Nelson in Florida:

In other down-ticket news, Jennifer Liberto reports that the Senate race between Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren seat is now, at $48 million, the priciest down-ticket race this election cycle (and if you include the Super PACs that are active in the race, the total is actually $53 million). As we noted earlier, the Senate race there has heated up this week around the issue of Warren's heritage. Here is Brown's ad on the controversy:

And Warren's response:

Lastly, we missed this web video from Gary Johnson last week, but it's worth watching:

Ad War archive here.