Negative Ads Flood the Airwaves in Campaign's Final Days

Posted: Nov 04, 2012 4:32 PM
With two days to go, Americans across the country - but especially in swing states - are getting deluged with negative advertising in what is, by the numbers, the most attack-ad-filled campaign in recent history.

The Obama campaign has bought in Ohio a slew of ads attacking Mitt Romney's time as a Bain Capital executive, claiming that Romney's work in the private sector destroyed jobs for personal profit. Obama has also brought out another ad re-upping the famous "47 percent" video of Romney's. The strange, alienating theme of this campaign is "Mitt Romney - not one of us."

Such a tone has been par for the course for the Obama campaign. As Politico notes, the Obama campaign has run more negative ads - and by far the fewest positive ads - than any campaign in the last few election cycles.

Source: Politico

Neither side has spent much time positively outlining what its candidate would do if elected — 20 percent of Romney’s ads and only 14 percent of Obama’s have been positive, according to the Wesleyan Media Project. In the final days, both sides are scrambling to appear more positive. Obama’s campaign last month produced 3.5 million glossy brochures outlining his plan for a second term.

“Team Obama is on defense with a failed record and nothing to talk about but attacks on Mitt Romney,” Kirsten Kukowski said.

Over at National Journal, Alex Roarty writes that the pure number of negative ads has been absolutely astounding.

The sharpest messages come amid the highest volume of advertising yet this campaign, with both campaigns and their allied outside groups emptying their bank accounts on ads. According to a study from the Wesleyan Media Project, the campaigns and outside groups aired nearly 100,000 ads from Oct. 22 to Oct. 29 alone—and more than a million the entire campaign. The deluge makes cutting through to voters especially difficult without running an ad that leaves a mark.

It remains to be seen if the ads will make a difference. Politico quotes a Democratic pollster saying that women are particularly susceptible to negative advertising - which would explain the Obama campaign's high profile "war on women" nonsense.