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Friday, November 11, 2011

Crossroads GPS Hits Obama, Warren ... and OWS

Crossroads GPS has been going after Democratic senators. Now, Sean Sullivan writes at National Journal:

The GOP-aligned super PAC [sic, it's a 501(c)(4)] Crossroads GPS is launching a wave of new television ads against three of this cycle's most vulnerable Democratic Senate incumbents and two of the party's strongest recruits.

In total, $1.8 million dollars is being spent over two weeks on the ads, which attack Sens. Jon Tester, D-Mont., Ben Nelson, D-Neb., and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., as well as former Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine and consumer advocate and Harvard professor Elizabeth Warren.


The ads against McCaskill, Tester, Nelson and Kaine use the same formula: tie the incumbents to President Obama. While each spot is different, the message is the same: a vote for them is a vote for the president.

The most interesting spot is the one running in Massachusetts against Warren. That ad seeks to paint Warren as an extremist, tying her to the Occupy Wall Street movement, which the ad portrays in a violent and otherwise negative light.

Warren has embraced the movement, and the state Republican Party has been hitting her over it, releasing daily "incident reports" about negative news related to the protests.

Occupy Wall Street is still in its nascent stage, so it's not yet clear who the movement will ultimately be received by the public. But the results of a recent Quinnipiac poll illustrate some of the perils of aligning oneself too closely with the movement: 30 percent of voters view the movement favorably, a 39 percent plurality view it unfavorably, and an additional 30 percent said they have not heard enough to form an opinion.

Also at National Journal, Reid Wilson writes:

Here's what they're spending in two of those states, Virginia and Massachusetts, according to several Democratic sources tracking the buys:

Springfield: $21,325, or approximately 159 gross ratings points
Boston: $165,200, 207 points
Providence: $50,499, 212 points
Albany: $1,106, 7 points.

Richmond: $33,375, 303 points
Roanoke: $32,950, 397 points
Washington: $180,875, 213 points
Norfolk: $49,345, 366 points

So, not the world's largest ad buys, and nowhere close to the most significant expenditures we're likely to see before Election Day next year. But these are hardly the tiny pittances some outside groups purchase in order to generate a lot of earned media. Voters will see these ads an average of two or three times each, and for a blank canvass, that's significant.