Ad War Update: More Of The Same

Sep 26 2012 @ 5:52pm

Pro-Romney Super PAC Restore Our Future is out with a think-of-the-children ad hitting Obama, which it's putting $2.2 million behind in Wisconsin and Michigan:

The only ad the Romney campaign released today was the one we covered earlier – and the DNC has already remixed it:

Meanwhile, the Obama campaign is bringing out Bain again:

The campaign also has a new Spanish language that will run along with a similar radio ad across five states (ad buy size unknown):

Geneva Sands translates:

"President Romney … What would that mean? For our kids, a steeper climb to college," says a narrator in Spanish. "Up to 2 million Hispanic students could see their Pell grants cut by almost a thousand dollars. Thousands more would lose their federal work study. And under his plan, there would be less funds for community colleges," the voice-over continues. "Register today to make sure Romney doesn’t shut these doors." 

In additional outside spending news, the conservative Americans for Job Security (a 501(c)6 non-profit that doesn't have to disclose its donors) is dropping $8.1 million on a six-state ad hitting Obama on the economy:

Elsewhere, GOP dark money group American Future Fund is spending $514K to air a new ad in Minnesota (it appears AFF's intention is for the ad to overlap into areas of Iowa and Wisconsin). The spot is a retread of the then-and-now Obama speech comparisons that have already appeared in several GOP ad variations. Also the Susan B. Anthony list has put out a new ad hitting Obama on abortion, but the group hasn't announced how much it will spend on the ad or where it will air. Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood is putting another $3.5 million into the race behind a testimonial-styled ad aimed at women in Ohio and Virginia:

In analysis news, the Columbia Journalism Review investigated the numbers journalists often use when reporting political ad spending and found that the two major sources of those numbers, the FEC and Kantar Media, were far from being in agreement:

Not that they should match dollar for dollar; Kantar and the FEC have different missions and methodologies. But the differences in their numbers aren’t minor. They are discrepancies in the tens of millions of dollars.

For example: CJR’s breakdown of FEC data found twice as much TV ad spending by two leading super PACs, Priorities USA (pro-Obama) and Restore our Future (pro-Romney), than Kantar found—as you see in [this chart]. (This is as of September 20—we stopped before the latest FEC disclosures so both sources would cover approximately the same time period). In other cases, the divergence is in the opposite direction: Kantar showed the conservative nonprofit group Americans for Prosperity spending more than $7 million more on TV ads than the FEC showed.

On one level, this is a cautionary tale for reporters, who often treat information from the two sources as if they were hard numbers from similar places. In fact they are soft numbers from very different sources, and campaign-spending stories should reflect that reality.

On a deeper level the massive variations between the numbers expose a troubling situation: Less than two months away from electing a president, we don’t really have a handle on how much outside groups are spending on television campaign ads to influence that choice.

And on the down-ticket in Missouri, Claire McCaskill's campaign has finally used Todd Akin's legitimate rape comment in an ad, compiling it along with other far-right comments he has made:

Lastly, Copyranter passes along a new video that turns an old JFK jingle into an Obama ad:

 

Ad War archive here.