In his “Fact Checker” column last week, Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post wrote that “Negative ads often work. But clearly some negative ads work better than others.” He then listed two examples of Obama team ads that worked, and one set of Romney team negative ads that didn’t catch on with the voters.
The two successful Obama team negative ad sets focused on Bain Capital and the auto bailout. Both sets of ads were directly aimed at the blue-collar voters of Ohio. They were, in effect, “class war” ads.
The Bain ads drove Romney’s negatives up by illuminating his plutocrat side, portraying him as a vulture capitalist, a looter of companies, a living symbol of the greed and callousness of the 1% elites who have devastated the Rust Belt over the past 4 decades.
Kessler, who has been critical of the content of many of the Bain ads, then points out that “…more than one-fifth of voters said that the top quality they sought in a president was ‘cares about people like me.’ Obama won their votes by a ratio of 4 to 1…”
The bailout ads highlighted the success of the auto rescue in saving—and creating—good union jobs while protecting Midwestern manufacturing. They also hammered Romney hard for his opposition to the bailout.
And Kessler points out that exit polls “…showed that 59 percent of voters supported the auto bailout — and three-quarters of those voters went for Obama. That certainly made a difference in a state where the margin of victory was only 2 percent.”
Given that Ohio was regarded by almost everyone as the #1 most critical battleground, it is not much of a jump to conclude that Barack Obama “out-classed” Mitt Romney in the Buckeye State.
(Learn more at www.wageclasswar.org )