Ad War Update: The Great Firewall Of Ohio

Andrew Sullivan —  Oct 19 2012 @ 8:00pm

The Obama campaign is reinforcing it with a new auto-industry attack on Romney (ad buy size unknown):

It's the second Ohio-only ad the campaign has up, the other being the John Glenn testimonial we featured last week. The Obama people are also hitting Romney on education:

Also, here's a pretty lame binder-themed web video:

Meanwhile, pro-Obama Super PAC Priorities USA is attacking Romney over Pell Grants (ad buy size/scope unknown):

From Team Romney, other than today's epic Romney-to-Obama transformation, the Super PAC Restore Our Future not only had a big month in September, pulling in $14.8 million, they are planning their largest buy of the campaign, sinking $12 million into nine states for a campaign that will begin on Tuesday [NYT]. Speaking of GOP outside spenders, Kenneth Vogel reports that the various groups have recently become much more transparent with donors regarding their spending strategies:

Conservative super PACs and outside groups face the very real possibility they’ll have spent $1 billion and failed to elect Mitt Romney or deliver a GOP Senate. That means professional political types could have a lot of explaining to do, especially to the rich donors who financed the record spending spree and are wondering if their investment was squandered. So the operatives running the superPACs and nonprofits are scrambling to prove they made a difference in any way they can. They’re positioning themselves to claim credit for successes, dodge blame for failures and prove that they’re not one-trick ponies that can only do narrowly targeted advertising.

Elsewhere, Cord Jefferson points to a troubling flareup of billboards such as this one (via Phyllis Cleveland):

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Cord explains:

An anonymous "family foundation" has paid for nearly 150 threatening voter fraud ads to go up around the Midwest, often in predominately black and Latino neighborhoods (the one above looms across the street from a housing project in Cleveland). The ads, 85 of which have appeared in Milwaukee and 60 of which are now around Cleveland and Columbus, read, "Voter fraud is a felony! Up to 3 1/2 years & $10,000 fine."

Clearly the ads are meant to intimidate minority voters, some of whom are likely ignorant about their voting rights and how difficult to commit and rare voter fraud actually is. According to a Justice Department study from 2006, for instance, voter fraud was a problem in .00000013 percent of the votes cast from 2002 to 2005. It is a non-issue, but you sure wouldn't be able to tell that from the doom-and-gloom billboards.

In down-ticket news, Scott Brown's campaign did a lousy job vetting one the voters they featured in a recent ad. And here's another spot they've released attacking Elizabeth Warren:

Lastly, in the issue campaign, a wedding photographer offers her support for marriage equality in this new spot from Mainers United:

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