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I'm going to use the Pollster polling composite charts today, since the TPM ones haven't updated for a while for some reason. I used "less smoothing" to give us more pronounced trendlines.
Pres. Barack Obama:
Believe it or not, they both got a 7-8 net bounce on their favorability rates after their conventions, and Romney continued to improve even during the Democratic convention. Much of that comes from Republicans pretending to like their guy. Just watch how those Romney favorables evaporate the day after Obama cleans his clock.
Still, the big difference is that Obama started with halfway decent favorability ratings, while Romney began in the gutter. And with Romney going negative from here on out in an attempt to erode those Obama numbers, there will be precious few opportunities to convince more voters to like him while giving them plenty of reasons not to (going hard negative brings down the attacker as well).
Finally, remember that Romney and his Super PAC friends have already spent about $180 million (did the math here) bombarding Obama with negative ads. The entire point of negative ads is to bring down the target's favorability numbers.
Yet look at the chart above. Has $180 million ever been so ineffective in a political race? Meg Whitman's $130 million in the 2010 California governor's race has now been eclipsed.
That's why I no longer fear the billionaire cash. I'm wary of it, but I don't fear it.
By the way, there's a punchline: See that Obama spike on the chart above? It begins on August 27. You know what else began on August 27? Yup, the Republican National Convention. So not only has their $180 million failed to erode Obama's favorabilities, but their convention improved them.