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View Diary: Daily Kos Elections Polling Wrap: Are there upsets in store next month in the state of Michigan? (130 comments)

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  •  I think I part ways here at a few places (2+ / 0-)
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    MHB, Anonyman

    1. I am very skeptical that many of the things "people say in hindsght affected the outcome" really did so.  I don't think Kerry lost because of ads or that LBJ won because of "Daisy".

    2.  The relevant thing, I think, is the marginal difference between these ads and the ones the campaign was going to do before this whole flap, to borrow more thinking from J.B.  Sure, they'll make ads, but how much more will these ads move voters than the ones they had in mind before, or would have made if Mitt had a different background?  

    3. Just because the campaign wants this to happen doesn't mean it actually will.

    4. I think Obama was doing well anyway, so I don't see how this could decide the election unless you really think he was going to lose before and now he'll win.

    And most of all:  what's the evidence?  Focus groups?

    26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-14 (formerly PA-02/NY-12).

    by Xenocrypt on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 07:32:53 PM PDT

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    •  Your points are all easily rebuttable (13+ / 0-)

      First, Kerry was hurt badly by Bush's ads.  No not the Swift Boat ad or its coverage, I don't think the public bought into that garbage.  But Bush's own ads did define Kerry negatively and hurt him badly.  They played off the stereotype of Dems as weak on national security at a time when people were still worried about that as a top concern in spite of Iraq going so badly.  The windsurfing ad in particular was devastating, but others, too, were effective.  Meanwhile, no the Daisy ad didn't matter because it aired only once I believe, but the theme it promoted was LBJ's entire campaign against Goldwater, that he was an extremist ("in your guts you know he's nuts").

      Second, I think you misunderstand what Obama was planning, these were the ads they planned all along.  These very issues were long-planned.  No the exact ads weren't cut weeks or months ago, but their message was chosen long before.  They had the oppo research ready, probably last year, and they've been stringing out over time for maximum sustained effect.  In fact, all the news coverage is driven by the ads, not the other way around.  This has all been engineered by OFA.  Not that they knew exactly how it would play out or that things would play into their hands this well, but they've been driving this story, not catching it like a wave.

      Third, the campaign already knows the ads have been working.  It's been two months, this isn't new.  Even public polling establishes that pluralities of voters view Bain negatively and see Mitt overall unfavorably.  Of course Mitt's image tanked in the primaries, but he recovered somewhat since vanquishing Santorum, but his recovery stopped thanks to OFA's ads.

      Fourth, yes I think he would lose before and now he'll win...not quite that starkly because I wouldn't have been sure he'd lose and I'm not sure he'll now win, but I'm happy to provide a simplified answer that way anyway for the sake of answering your point.  Obama has survived the bad economic news, months of it, by making voters balk at Romney.  If Romney had a better public image, he'd be leading narrowly now instead of trailing narrowly.  And it's OFA's ads that have kept his public image in the toilet.

      As far as evidence goes, the public evidence is focus groups and polling.  But the implicit evidence is that OFA keeps hammering away at this, and they have proven themselves terrific at picking and peddling campaign messages.  They're not new at this, they've proven their chops, so when they do something with a sustained effort, you can bet they've tested it privately at great length and know it works.

      44, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

      by DCCyclone on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 07:46:08 PM PDT

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      •  I might not have been clear (0+ / 0-)

        By "marginal difference" I mean only that the GOP might have nominated Perry or Huntsman or Jeb or hypothetical non-outsourcing Romney.  If Romney had retired, then there'd be another nominee.  

        And the Dems would attack that nominee.  So what's the difference between the expected value of those attacks and these?  How much do these attacks move the needle relative to other campaign attacks?  5 points?  1 point?  

        That's how much it matters, I think.  And I guess I just disagree that Obama's numbers holding up is a mystery.  I don't think these are tho kinds of numbers that knock out incumbents.  I think rapid negative change seems to, but that hasn't happened--not since 2009.  And I don't think too many incumbents have lost absent fairly recent negative change.  

        As for Mitt's numbers--I'm still not sure how much that's driven by residual rightwing resentment.

        I'm sure the campaign is the best there is, but that doesn't mean the election turns on their actions.

        26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-14 (formerly PA-02/NY-12).

        by Xenocrypt on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 08:00:49 PM PDT

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        •  I now don't understand "marginal difference" (3+ / 0-)

          Well if the GOP nominated someone else, Obama would slam them for whatever that nominee's liabilities are.

          Of course the ads matter.  They matter even if there's a stalemate.

          Jeez, you saw this all through the GOP primaries, Mitt won the nomination only because he ran all those attack ads, which worked because he had money to air them and his opponents didn't.  Whenever Mitt failed to engage and instead let organic voter sentiment run its course in a given state, most of the time he'd lose.

          In the general, Obama's ads are somewhat canceled out by Romney's and his allies' ads combined with a disappointing economy.  So numbers don't move, there's a polling stalemate.  But if Obama didn't run these ads, he'd be losing.

          I don't see why it's so hard to understand TV ads matter, and work.

          44, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

          by DCCyclone on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 08:11:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  TV ads might matter in different ways in (0+ / 0-)

            An open seat primary than in an incumbent/challenger general election.  And ads might matter to some extent but what I'm wondering about is how much Message A vs. Message B matters within however much ads matter, which in turn is some subset of his much campaigns matter.

            If Obama was blanketing the airwaves with Ryan plan ads or with foreign policy ads but not with Bain ads, would he be losing then?  Just because the campaign apparently likes Bain ads more doesn't mean he would be.

            26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-14 (formerly PA-02/NY-12).

            by Xenocrypt on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 08:26:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Bain Ads Undercut Romney's Supposed Strengths (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Larsstephens, Aquarius40

              whereas ads regarding foreign policy or the Ryan plan do not.

              Romney has only 4 major things he can run on:

              1) He's not Obama.
              2) He "saved" the Olympics.
              3) MA Health Care Reform
              4) He's a job creator.

              He already can't use #3 and the Bain ads destroy #4 in the minds of the public.

              #1 and 2 aren't enough to win.

              •  oh and well (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                he may have had his plutocratic hand in the cookie jar by continuing to hold a seat on the Staples board, while simultaneously trying to get them into the advertisers slot that Office Depot eventually took.

                Nothing fishy there. Olympic uniforms? Made in Canada. I could go on, and provide links, but everyone knows here this is what's on the horizon.

                Hillary Sent Me. OBAMA/BIDEN '12

                by HillaryIsMyHomegirl on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 10:36:53 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Yes he'd be losing then (0+ / 0-)

              Foreign policy and Ryan plan ads wouldn't work as well, or at all.  That's because hardly anyone this year cares about foreign policy, and the Ryan plan is a creature of Congress, Mitt passively endorsed it but it's not his own plan.

              Bain works because it's all about Mitt, and that's who Obama is running against:  Mitt.

              Xenocrypt, this isn't random, it's always the case some things work and others don't.  And in your example, it's obvious Bain would work and those other things don't.

              I guess I don't follow why you think ads are all random noise.  It's a given they're not.

              44, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

              by DCCyclone on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 06:38:41 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  When have I ever said that (0+ / 0-)

                Ads are random noise?  I just think that the specifics of the message of an ad are only responsible for some fraction of the electoral effect of an ad campaign, which is only responsible for some fraction of the electoral effect of the campaign, which in turn only explains some fraction of the outcome of an election.  I actually appreciate that you discuss advertising in a broader context than many posters and pundits, but I don't think there's evidence that fractional effect is the one thing keeping the incumbent President afloat during a period of stagnation/weak growth and largely winding-down wars, which as far as I know have not historically been conditions that knock out incumbents.  

                26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-14 (formerly PA-02/NY-12).

                by Xenocrypt on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 07:52:58 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  "Historically" is meaningless for this election... (0+ / 0-)

                  ...because the current conditions have never existed.

                  The relevant conditions are that we have an incumbent President running for reelection who inherited a stubborn jobs recession that he hasn't been able to alleviate to a degree to satisfy the national electorate.

                  The closest precedent to that was FDR in the 30s, but there are too many major distinctions to treat that as precedent.  FDR inherited the Great Depression, not a bad recession, and it had been going on for 3 years when FDR first took office, not less than a year as voters now perceive it for Obama (the December 2007 start-date for the recession is meaningless to voters, they didn't perceive a downturn until much later).  Those are, for obvious reasons, major things that caused voters in the 30s to give FDR a lot more slack than Obama gets now, since they understood intuitively they were in a history-making mess that they didn't know if a President could really fix, at least not quickly.

                  The next-closest precedent is 2004, with Bush on the wire with almost identical job approvals and ballot test polling as Obama now.  In Bush's case, the Iraq War was dragging on with no success or end in sight.  But that, too, was different, because the war didn't inflict national trauma like this recession has, and greater pain for the electorate risks greater punishment inflicted on POTUS.  But the flip-side is that Bush chose that war, Obama inherited this recession, and that's mitigating for Obama.

                  The 1980 and 1992 examples don't apply because those incumbents' troubles started on their watch, while Obama fully inherited his.  Again, that's mitigating, and voters "get" that.

                  So there is no applicable historical precedent for this election.  We're testing out a completely new thing this November.  That being the case, it's not accurate to say these are not conditions that knock out incumbents, because the relevant conditions never before existed.

                  The bottom line is Mitt's favorables are underwater, and that didn't happen in a vacuum.  It was because of ads.  And that's why Obama is winning.  The conditions are bad enough that it defies logic that he's not benefitting in the ballot test from Mitt's poor public image.  It can be a "fraction" of the electorate as you say, but a fraction is all that ever matters anyway.

                  44, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

                  by DCCyclone on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 08:18:47 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  Fight! Fight! Fight! (0+ / 0-)

         It's the Strategist versus the Analyst! Two men enter, one man leaves! Students for a New American Politics!

        by redrelic17 on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 08:28:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I think we must compare the data (0+ / 0-)

      data of the poll (7/9 to 7/13) vs data of the Bain issue (7/12? or 7/13?)

      Despite the poll is published now after the Bain issue break in the media, the poll ask to the people and take the data from the people some days before.

      If this pollster would ask me in these days, I would answer the poll without know enough about the issue.

      I think is too early for see the effect of this issue in the polls.

      Still we will see new polls that take their data before the issue appears strongly in the media.

      •  You're right (0+ / 0-)

        That's why patience is a good idea, as it was with the jobs reports and with "doing fine" and so on.

        26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-14 (formerly PA-02/NY-12).

        by Xenocrypt on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 08:28:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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