Negative Ads: A Shift in Tone for the 2012 Campaign

With only 16 weeks until the November election, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are on track to fuel one of most negative presidential campaigns in recent history — whether voters want it or not. According to Kantar Media, which tracks political advertising, 89% of Obama’s ads in recent weeks featured an anti-Romney message, while 94% …

Joe Coors Is Not a Beer, May Be a Witch

Another great innovation in political advertising, which we can credit to Fred Davis. The I-Am-Not-A-Blank Ad. Joe Coors, heir to the eponymous beer brand in Colorado, delivers this first ad in his congressional race:


The problem with the Not-A strategy is that it raises all sorts of questions. …

The Fact Checking Fun House: Crossroads GPS vs. Team Obama

Have you seen the latest Crossroads GPS fact check of the Obama Campaign fact check of a Crossroads GPS ad that relies on a fact check by Politifact, but fails to point out that Politifact called the same ad “mostly false”?

No? Well, then. You have come to the right place. Though we must caution: If you continue reading this post, you …

Crossroads, Super PACs and the Incumbent Advertising Gap

In a recent piece about the Obama-Romney ad wars, Michael Scherer made the smart point that this election is different from past ones in that the incumbent no longer gets a free hit on his rival during the period immediately following the primary. The reason: super PACs have the cash to cover that gap while the challenger collects enough …

Campaign 2012, Where Old Media Is New Again

We live in the age of the iPhone, yet the 2012 presidential campaign has so far been run on Betamax. In the Republican primary, new media and mobile technologies are next to incidental, subsumed by a nostalgic embrace of a technology that was cutting edge in the 1960s: television.

For Mitt Romney in Florida, It’s All About Character (Attacks)

Pompano Beach, Florida

A political riddle presents itself on the trail with Mitt Romney: Can a true man of character constantly attack the character of another man?

From the first introductions on Sunday, character was presented as the defining, most winning attribute of the former governor: Romney was touted as the candidate whose …

On Crazy People, the Cayman Islands and Why Democrats Are Taking Notes

The heavyweight tussle in Florida is quickly devolving into a very expensive slap fight. On one side is Mitt Romney, whose aides, having spent days tagging Newt Gingrich with labels like “erratic” and unreliable,” are now upping the ante by recasting Gingrich as a full-on crazy person. “UNHINGED!” read a Romney press release Thursday …

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