We'll get to the larger picture in a moment, I was wondering if and how Team Romney would respond to the president's "big" new idea: Creating a new federal "Secretary of Business" to help spur job creation. Aside from sending out a short initial statement ridiculing the concept, the Romney campaign's response has been relatively muted. Until now. Check out their fresh television ad, which makes the important point that Obama's solution to everything involves more government control, more bureaucracy and more spending:
How many Americans look at this idea and think, "yes, what this economy has really been lacking is another cabinet-level position in Washington to supplement the Secretary of Labor...and Commerce...and the Council of Economic Advisers." Very few, I'd imagine -- assuming anyone actually heard about the plan at all. In fairness, Obama's been emphasizing far more important themes on the campaign trail. The contrast in this spot is striking: Obama's moribund, big government ideas versus the experience of Mitt Romney's entire adult life. It's this dichotomy that helps explain why Mitt Romney has a 13-point lead on job creation in the latest Fox News poll. With Michigan and Pennsylvania now on the battleground map, Americans for Prosperity is going up with a $3 million ad buy in the two states. These ads aren't freshly-minuted, but they're new to the viewers who are seeing them. The first ad features a Canadian warning against the intrusion of government into healthcare, while the other profiles former Obama voters who have seen enough:
"The president has not earned re-election."
National Journal has a thoughtful piece out about why states like Michigan might be attainable for Romney in this election, while Reuters outlines the reasons that Pennsylvania is, indeed, firmly in play. I'll leave you with this list of on-air advertising buys in major swing states over the last few days of the cycle. The "Romney" category includes his official campaign, the RNC, his SuperPAC and outside groups like Crossroads and AFP. The "Obama" column includes Obama for America, the DNC and Priorities USA, his SuperPAC. As you can see, Romney will have a giant on-air edge in the push for late deciders:
Ohio - $30M total: Romney $18.4M, Obama $11.4M
Florida - $22M total: Romney $13.7M, Obama $8.4M
Virginia - $19.7M total: Romney $13.4M, Obama $6.3M
Pennsylvania - $13.7M total: Romney $10.8M, Obama $2.9M
Wisconsin - $10.8M total: Romney $7.8M, Obama $3M
Iowa - $9.8M total: Romney $6.7M, Obama $3M
Colorado - $8.9M total: Romney $5.5M, Obama $3.3M
Nevada - $8.5M total: Romney $5.6M, Obama $2.9M
New Hampshire - $7.0M total: Romney $4.7M, Obama $2.3M
Michigan - $5.7M total: Romney $5.2M, Obama $500k
Minnesota - $2.7M total: Romney $2.1M, Obama $550k
North Carolina - $3.4M total: Romney $1.9M, Obama $1.4M
New Mexico - $225k total: Romney $225k (ROF), Obama $0
Maine (Bangor) - $70k total: Romney $70k (ROF), Obama $0
The only state where the two sides are near parity is North Carolina, which Team Obama has all but abandoned. Note well the margins in Iowa, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. This was the Romney camp's strategy all along. Obama bombarded the airwaves all summer long, vastly out-spending Romney in swing states. Boston hoped Romney would be remain competitive enough to blitz Obama in the waning days, pushing the last persuadables into their camp. We'll see which approach pays the highest dividends on Tuesday. Also, in case you're wondering, Maine allocates electoral votes proportionally, so the Romney camp is making a last-minute play to pick off one of those electoral votes. That entire buy is targeted at one Congressional district.
UPDATE - Rasmussen gives Romney a tenuous one-point lead in Iowa, pushing Romney ahead in two of the three latest polls in that state. The Republican campaign is looking to capitalize on their momentum with a new ad touting Romney's big Iowa endorsements:
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography