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View Diary: They just don't like Mitt Romney (232 comments)

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  •  I know they work... (1+ / 0-)
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    GrumpyOldGeek

    but I don't think we've ever experienced in our history the deluge that is about to be dropped on us. You hear all the time about the fear of a blowback from negative advertising and that has happened from time to time (there was a reason Johnson's Daisy ad only appeared once).  

    My question still remains.  Is there a point of diminishing returns to negative advertising when it's used to the extent that rMoney and, especially, karl rove and rMoney's superpac allies are going to use it?

    A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

    by dougymi on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 01:20:25 PM PDT

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    •  Not on Me (2+ / 0-)
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      dougymi, GrumpyOldGeek

      I'm not in a swing state. In sunny CA you can hardly ever tell that there is a National Election going on.

      The thing everybody forgets is that there are only a handful of states in play and most of them are long shots one way or another. They are going to get the deluge, but the rest of the country not so much. And to answer you question. Yes, there is a limit. Both Romney and Obama have more then enough money to blanket the states that matter and both of them will probably over-saturate the ground. Somebody is going to go to far and turn off some voters with this or that ad. At the end of the day, I think it is going to be a wash for Romney as he is fighting an uphill battle to smear a well-liked sitting President.

    •  There HAS to be a point of diminishing returns (0+ / 0-)

      There has to be life elsewhere in the Universe. Fortunately, negative advertising has fewer data points and this makes it possible to analyze the topic.

      So your thought-provoking question provoked some thoughts. I guess that's a good thing. I often clarify my own thoughts when I think. Duh.

      I agree with you. This is unprecedented. This is historically significant. And the situation scares the daylights out of me from time to time. There doesn't seem to be a limit to the number of WTF moments I run into.

      I think that the notion of a point of diminishing returns is a moving target and strongly dependent on context and subjective measures of negativity. But there has to be a point where the curves on the chart cross even though the point is moving all over the place. I suspect that there are contexts where the lines don't cross, but I think that the deep polarization on the issues almost guarantees that a point of diminishing returns exists.

      But I don't think that determining where such a point might be located would be all that useful unless that point is way far below or above that point.

      The Daisy ad got pulled right away. If they were using focus groups or ran the thing in a small test market, they probably would have dumped the ad before they broadcasted the thing. So I'm guessing that they just went ahead and ran the thing.

      The Daisy ad is probably used as an Advertising 101 case study these days. It's definitely an example of the dynamics of blowback.

      One big difference that I've noticed is that the ads from 1964 were based on facts and verifiable statements. Goldwater repeatedly talked about nuking everything communist, resuming above ground nuke testing, and the like. The timing was horrible and the saber-rattling was offensive. The Daisy ad is a production catastrophe as well.

      Today, the Republican ads are pretty much loaded with bald-faced lies, racial slurs, appeals to nationalism, religious fervor, and hate, hate, hate. This shit hasn't been this awful in my lifetime. I'm aware that these ads are right out of the fascist playbook as written by Paul Weyrich and his Heritage Foundation, Cato, etc. This isn't anything new, but it has been ratcheted up to crazy levels of crazy crazyness. And damn near half of the population is buying this shit and promoting the hate. This happened in the 1930's, too, when a half dozen states ended up with legislatures with majorities that were KKK members. The baggers are following the same playbook.

      One more thing. The Wisconsin recall elections.

      I learned that money was much more effective than I had ever imagined possible.

      I learned that ads that pointed out the lies and backed them up with facts played into the hands of Wanker and his winger nutjobs. Wanker ran ads that sounded positive even though they were totally fabricated bullshit lies. The "It's working" and the "I'm a victim of union thugs" and "The Recall is just sour grapes" shit, to my astonishment, worked.

      The few ads that Democrats ran talked about all the lies and pointed out bad behavior and the bait and switch that Wanker pulled. We were telling everyone that Wanker is a liar and a asshole. People who don't pay any attention to politics (a majority, sadly) don't like this kind of a negative ad. It didn't seem to matter that Wanker is a liar and an asshole.

      So Wanker was a victim of people who used unfair recall laws and called him a liar on the TV machine. Repeat that 30 times more often than the Democratic ads, and the result was predictable.

      I didn't expect that to happen even though the polls were spot on accurate and the analysis of the ads showed that the unethical crap was working.

      So I learned to pay more attention to polls and to try to avoid denial and disbelief when the polls don't match my beliefs. My beliefs were wrong, not the polls.

      And I learned that ads that respectfully call out lies and back them up with facts are heard as extremely negative ads if the opponent is playing the victim.

      And I learned that neverending over the top bald-faced lying is a strategy that works against Democrats and isn't a factor for Republicans. Calling out the lies, since there are so many of them produces a level of cognitive dissonance among Republicans. Simply put, it can't possibly be true that Governor Wanker, the churchy-churchy boy-scouty-scouty young man is telling so many lies. Thus, Democrats are lying. This is well-understood Psych 101 stuff. We fell into this trap.

      Perhaps it's better to just ignore the lies and never react to any of them. I think that the Republicans would be compelled to ramp up the lies to the point where they collapse and the Republicans end up exposing their own lies. Setting up divide and conquer issues among Republicans is another strategy that will work. When Noot and Cain't went after Mittens, all we had to do was sit back and watch the show.

      You might have noticed that the Wisconsin stuff seems to go against the notion that negative ads are more effective than positive or neutral ads. I struggled with this for quite a while, but I'm getting closer to accepting the idea that this isn't the way it works any more.

      The World is not like it was last week. Or last year....

      "Never wrestle with a pig: you get dirty and the pig enjoys it"

      by GrumpyOldGeek on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 07:51:30 PM PDT

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