Ad War Update: The Binder Speaks!

Andrew Sullivan —  Oct 17 2012 @ 7:15pm

No new ads from the Obama campaign, just a few web videos – one focused on GOTV and another rounding up pundit opinions that the president won last night. The Romney campaign, on the other hand, is the first to ad-weaponize the debate (ad buy size/scope unknown):

The Romney campaign is also making a play for the female vote in a new ad touting some of the women in Romney's cabinet/binder (ad buy size/scope unknown):

Also, "El Mitt Moderado" has arrived (ad buy size/scope unknown):

Natalie Jennings explains:

What it says (translated): "The liberal Democrats promised immigration reform… Now, the Democrats say they never made a promise … Romney and the Republicans will fight for bipartisan reform to bring families together."

What it means: Mitt Romney, who trails significantly in polling among Hispanic voters, is trying to turn the tables. The ad highlights an exchange from last night’s debate in which he confronted Obama over the president’s unfulfilled promise of immigration reform.

And here is another ad pushing Romney's support for contraception and abortion exemptions, an attempt to counter the many Team Obama spots that have asserted otherwise (ad buy size/scope unknown):

These new ads come with news that the Romney campaign is buying another $13.6 million in airtime across nine states, especially Florida – though the report also indicates that Obama is still outspending them in every state but Colorado. Meanwhile, ad-buying firm SMG Delta says the presidential ad war has thus far cost a whopping $807 million:

The Obama campaign is one ad buy away from reaching $300 million by itself. But with outside money factored in, "Team Romney" (the campaign plus outside groups supporting him or attacking the president) is outspending "Team Obama" $455 million to $352 million. The Romney campaign, which has come on since Labor Day, is now the second-biggest spender at $164 million.

And Team Romney's Super PAC, Restore Our Future, is hitting the president in Wisconsin with this new spot focused on small business jobs ($1.2 million buy):

Here's a new web ad from GOP dark-money outfit American Future Fund that reboots Hillary's old "3am" ad to hit Obama on Libya (ad buy size/scope unknown):

And from the pro-Democrat side, (Super) Majority PAC is spending $8.4 million on nine Senate races:

Including this recent buy, Majority PAC has now spent $28.7 million hoping to backstop to the Democratic majority in the Senate. The most popular subject in Majority PAC's nine state ad buy is women's issues including Planned Parenthood funding and money for mammograms and cancer screenings. Ads on these subjects are airing in media markets for three of the nine targeted races. … The second most popular subject in Majority PAC's slate of advertisements is some of the extreme positions taken by [GOP] candidates.

Here is their ad supporting Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and attacking her opponent, Republican Congressman Rick Berg:

In other outside spending news, Mike Bloomberg is planning eight figures worth of spending to support "moderate" candidates in the final weeks of the campaign. OpenSecrets' Peter Stone is tracking the Republican Jewish Coalition, a dark money group in the middle of a $6.5 million campaign across four states as part of their effort to replace Obama with Bibi's BFF Mitt:

The group's staff and board have strong connections to Romney and a passel of powerful GOP operatives and conservative groups that are spending many millions to defeat Obama. The RJC's board of directors is bristling with wealthy Republicans who together have donated and raised tens of millions of dollars for Romney and other Republican causes in this election cycle alone. And it has the ideological and financial allegiance of [GOP mega-donor Sheldon] Adelson, who has vowed to spend at least $100 million to defeat Obama.

Earlier this month, the RJC made a $2.5 million cable buy in its four target states, featuring Home Depot co-founder and RJC board member Bernie Marcus attacking the President’s economic policies. It's also responsible for Florida billboards emblazoned “Obama…Oy Vey! Had Enough?” and a mini-documentary attacking Obama’s policies towards Israel, titled “Perilous Times,” released late last month on the Internet. Also last month, the group recruited about 1,000 volunteers to spend two days knocking on doors in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. A similar drive is planned in Nevada, and the RJC intends to send out about 2 million pieces of direct mail to Jewish voters.

Lastly, Molly Ball passes along a new study on the effectiveness of various ads in the presidential race, a battle Obama is apparently winning:

Obama's ads overall had the desired effect: They increased his share of the vote by six points while decreasing Romney's share of the vote by 8 points on average. Romney's ads, meanwhile, had no statistically significant effect on the survey respondents. The survey sample began the experiment favoring Romney by a 47-42 margin; after watching both candidates' ads, they favored Obama, 48-41.

There was a silver lining for Romney, however. His ads didn't convert swing voters, but they did persuade voters who picked John McCain in 2008 to vote for Romney this time around. Obama's ads had no impact on his supporters' enthusiasm. After watching both candidates' ads, the percentage of McCain voters extremely enthusiastic about voting increased 13 points, from 31 percent to 44 percent, while extremely enthusiastic Obama voters held steady at 38 percent. That means Romney's ads could be doing him some good by firing up his partisans so that they don't stay home on Election Day.

Ad War archive here.