The general election has begun! And so has the onslaught of campaign ads. Which ones succeed? Which fail? In Ad Watch, we review them as they come out. Today in Ad Watch: Karl Rove tries the soft sell on swing voters using a little CGI, while President Obama and Mitt Romney fight for reporters over Bain Capital.
The Ad: Crossroads GPS, "Basketball"
The Issues: The economy.
The Message: Obama gave inspiring speeches in 2008, but he couldn't live up to his promises. This ad is part of a kinder, gentler approach from Karl Rove's Super PAC, The New York Times' Jeremy W. Peters reports, a new direction after focus groups found swing voters respond negatively to harsh attacks on Obama. Crossroads decided to use an actress, Peters reports, to "soften a tough message about complicated issues." An actress explains, "I supported President Obama because he spoke so beautifully. He promised change. But things changed for the worse."
Who'll See It: The one-minute ad begins airing Wednesday in 10 swing states. The Super PAC is spending $25 million on the ads.
Who It's For: Swing voters. Peters reports that in focus groups, Crossroads found, "Middle-of-the-road voters who said they thought the country was on the wrong track were unmoved when they heard arguments that the president lacks integrity. And they did not buy assertions that he is a rabid partisan with a radical liberal agenda that is wrecking America."