Ad War Update: Clinton vs Clint

Andrew Sullivan —  Oct 24 2012 @ 7:07pm

More onslaught over the airwaves today, as the Obama campaign deploys the Big Dog across six states (buy size unknown):

The Obama people are also using Romney's own words to restate their case on Romney's abortion stance, directly rebutting his recent ad:

Obama's ad team is also trying to scare out the vote with this seven-state ad bringing up the closeness of the 2000 race (buy size unknown):

And Michelle Obama makes her Ad War premiere in the following Spanish-language spot, which also features TV host Cristina Saralegui, airing in five states (buy size unknown):

Sophie Quinton explains why the first lady has become a political asset to the Obama campaign, holding 20 grassroots rallies in the past two months:

The first lady's broad popularity makes her a particularly good surrogate. Sixty-nine percent of the public approve of her, according to an October ABC News/Washington Post poll, a rating comparable to that of her popular predecessors Barbara and Laura Bush.

For many women, particularly minorities, Michelle Obama is an inspiration and a role model. That's a persona that can only help her husband as he fights for female votes. "There's not even a question" that when Michelle Obama talks to other women, they listen, said Myra Gutin, professor of communications at Rider University.

Meanwhile, Karl Rove and Clint Eastwood team up for a new ad from Rove's Super PAC, American Crossroads:

Kevin Bohn explains:

[Crossroads] showed the ad to focus groups in Florida and Ohio, and "it tested off the charts,"[Crossroads spokesman Jonathan] Collegio says. The Eastwood spot is one of three new ones launching Wednesday as part of a $12.6 million buy in seven key swing states: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio and Virginia.

One of those two other ads is this small-business themed attack that will air in four states. And this spot focuses on Obama "bowing" to China and will air in five states. On top of that, Koch-funded dark-money group Americans For Prosperity is up with a one-minute testimonial-based coal attack on the president (ad buy size/scope unknown). And a conservative Super PAC called "Defending Our Faith" (though its web video was paid for by a group called "America Continues") will be attacking Obama and six down-ticket Democrats over abortion in some new radio ads. Meanwhile, here's the Romney campaign in a web video baiting Chait on Mittmentum:

Zooming out, Team Romney is currently outspending Team Obama in swing states by nearly $10 million, but a massive report from the Wesleyan Media Project shows that over 915,000 presidential campaign ads have been aired thus far in the race, 210K of which have come just since the beginning of this month. And of the total ads, more than 460K have been Obama campaign ads, almost as many as have been aired by every major GOP group combined (465K). The 915K+ total ads are also a 44.5% increase from the amount aired during the same period in 2008. Another difference:

Examining just the first three weeks of October, Democratic-leaning groups are estimated to have spent 438 percent more on advertising than they did four years ago, and Republican-leaning groups have increased their spending by 954 percent. In just the past three weeks, pro-Romney groups have spent over $47 million on television advertising. This translates into a $10 million advantage in ad spending by all Republican sponsors over all Democratic sponsors during the past three weeks.

Of particular note is the shift in sponsorship from 2008 to 2012 on the Republican side. In 2008, the Republican National Committee (alone or in coordination with McCain) sponsored about 85 percent of the pro-McCain ads during the first three weeks of October. The McCain campaign alone only sponsored about 9 percent of the ads aired on his behalf. In 2012, the Republican Party accounted for 12 percent of the Romney ads, while outside groups sponsored 44 percent.

The report also includes this breakdown of what issues each campaign's ads have been about thus far in October:

Release5 Table7

On the down-ticket, Wisconsin is getting heated as Tommy Thompson tries to take out Tammy Baldwin with 9/11:

The Baldwin campaign responds:

Meanwhile, Paul Ryan stages an awkward lecture in this ad defending his House seat:

The latest ad from his Democratic opponent, Rob Zerban, questions Ryan's commitment to his district. Over in Illinois' eighth district, Democrat Tammy Duckworth is calling Congressman Joe Walsh a "deadbeat dad":

Lastly, as the Romney people indicate they will not ask Richard Mourdock's campaign to take down their Romney-testimonial ad in light of Mourdock's recent rape pregnancy comments, liberal Super PAC American Bridge 21st Century offers a remix:

Ad War archive here.