Steven J. Law, the group’s leader, said the ads would address the challenge of unseating a president who polls show is viewed favorably even though many people disapprove of his handling of the economy. Basically, Mr. Law said, “how to dislodge voters from him.”
The Crossroads advertising push — the timing of which has been the subject of avid speculation at the Obama campaign headquarters in Chicago — would give the campaign of Mitt Romney, the Republican front-runner, the time and cover to map out its national organization, replenish its bank account and put the finishing touches on its own long-discussed advertising plan, which is expected to highlight the economic pain of ordinary Americans.
“There’s a sense of anxiety out there that’s tremendous,” Mr. Stevens said. “It’s home heating costs, it’s gas prices, the price of food is up. What about people’s everyday lives is easier today than it was four years ago?”
But, Mr. Law said, Crossroads research suggests that Mr. Obama’s campaign has started to gain traction among critical swing voters by arguing that Republicans, including Mr. Romney, favor an “economic plutocracy” in which middle-class voters can no longer count on financial security, even though they work hard and play by the rules.Third Way reports:
“His argument is: ‘The reason you feel bad is not because I’ve been an inadequate president but because the rules of the game are stacked against you,’ ” Mr. Law said. Calling it a “dystopian vision,” he added, “that narrative has some gravitational pull.”
But, Mr. Law said, interviews with independent voters, as well as uncommitted Democrats and Republicans who supported Mr. Obama in 2008, have revealed an alternate “emerging view” that Crossroads will seek to solidify, “that Obama just may not be up to the job, he can’t seem to fix things he promised he would fix.”
Third Way’s newest poll with Global Strategy Group looks at 1,000 Independents in battleground states and identifies a bloc of voters who are truly up-for-grabs in 2012: Swing Independents.
There’s good news for the President: Swing Independents have positive views of Obama, but they are not locked down. So far Swing Indys prefer President Obama by 6 points, but over one-third are undecided. The Congressional ballot is virtually tied, with nearly 6 in 10 undecided.
We find that Swing Independents are “opportunity” voters—preferring an optimistic, opportunity framework on the economy over one based on fairness. Why? Opportunity addresses their anxieties about the future, concerns that America is slipping, doubts about how the next generation will succeed, and questions over how we will strengthen our economy.