Ads Succeed in Making Voters Dislike Both Candidates

The early barrage of negative ads has made voters dislike both Obama and Romney. A new poll shows that 43 percent of Americans hold a somewhat or very negative view of President Obama (up from 37 percent a year ago) and 40 percent have a somewhat or very negative view of Mitt Romney (up from 26 percent a year ago). Historically these are very high negatives for so early in the season. The vast amount of negative advertising on tap for the Fall is only going to make it worse. It will be a miracle if the winner can govern at all with half the country hating him.

Romney SuperPACs Have Spent $144 Million so Far

Republican SuperPACs have been running television ads at a furious rate, spending $144 million on general election ads in swing states so far. All of them are negative ads attacking President Obama rather than praising Mitt Romney's business expertise. Karl Rove's two groups, Crossroads GPS and American Crossroads, together have spent $94 million on TV ads, five times as much as all the Democratic SuperPACs combined. And this is only July. Wait until September, when the race really starts.

One new front in this battle is a Republican group backed by casino magnate Sheldon Adelson to target Jewish voters and try to peel them away from the Democrats on the issue of Israel. Adelson has said he will spend up to $100 million trying to defeat Obama. Much of the effort will be in Pennsylvania and Florida. Despite the impending wave of ads, it will be an uphill climb for Adelson as Jews are the second most reliable voting block for the Democrats—only blacks are more strongly Democratic. Romney will try to shake things up when he meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later this week. Romney has known Netanyahu for 30 years; nevertheless, Netanyahu has to be careful because if he implicitly supports Romney and Obama wins anyway, he will have to deal with an unhappy Obama.

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