American Crossroads’ biggest ad buy: Hey, remember how Obama spent $1 trillion on stimulus that didn’t work?

posted at 12:41 pm on October 2, 2012 by Mary Katharine Ham

Super PAC American Crossroads GPS is set to drop $16 million on ads this week in battleground states and targeted races, mostly hitting President Obama on stimulus spending and his jobs record. From CNN:

The conservative super PAC American Crossroads said Tuesday it was buying $11 million in television time this week to air an ad sharply critical of President Barack Obama’s record on jobs.

The group also said its affiliate organization Crossroads GPS would put $1 million toward radio ads and $4 million to air TV ads in competitive U.S. Senate races in North Dakota, Virginia and Montana. American Crossroads will air a Senate ad in Florida.

The TV ad, entitled “Actually Happened,” makes reference to what the Obama White House would like you to forget— what he promised would happen to the jobless rate if we spent $1 trillion on stimulus compared to what actually happened. In the style of Tony Stark, a narrator brings up a CGI chart with the swipe of a hand, showing the literal gap between Obama’s promises on jobs and where we stand today.

“This is what President Obama promised the jobless rate would be if we passed the stimulus: 5.6%. But this is what the jobless rate actually is: 8.1%. The difference? About 3.7 million jobs,” he says. “Obama’s spending drove us 5 trillion deeper in debt, and now we have fewer jobs than when he started.”

The ad concludes, “We can’t afford another four years.” (This link leads to the YouTube of the ad if you’re having trouble watching it below.)

“Obama’s weak leadership has yielded weak results and a weaker America. Staying on Obama’s course means a weaker America every day,” Chairman Steven Law said in a Crossroads statement about the ad buy.

A Tarrance Group survey of likely voters this week suggests Crossroads may be on the right track:

—Three quarters (74%) of voters do not believe federal government spending has helped the economy, and 86% do not believe government spending has helped their own personal financial situation. This pessimism over the impact of government spending is consistent throughout many key demographic groups that are frequently mentioned as “target” voters in the upcoming Presidential election.

—Nearly three quarters of both men (75%) and women (72%) do not believe government spending has helped the economy, along with eight in ten (80%) seniors. A majority (54%) of seniors say spending has “hurt” the economy.
Also, a majority of Independents (55%) and married women (59%) believe government spending has hurt the economy. Three quarters (76%) of middle class families do not believe spending has helped the economy, with 58% believing government spending has actually hurt the economy.

—Men (86%) and women (86%) equally do not believe government spending has helped their personal financial situation. Just 9% of Independents and seniors, and 12% of married women and middle class families say government spending has helped their personal finances.

If those numbers sound suspiciously sanguine to you, here are the results of the stimulus question in the WaPo poll this week among registered voters: 70 percent of Americans believe the stimulus either hurt or didn’t help the economy much at all. If you take out those who believe it hurt, the number is 43 percent who believe it didn’t help. Among Independents, the number of voters who believe the stimulus hurt or didn’t help goes up to 76 percent. Obama: Making the ineffective astronomically expensive since 2008.

Stimulus polling

This week’s Politico/GWU poll, which Ed wrote up here, shows Romney holding slight but important leads on jobs and the economy, but his biggest leads are in this area:

Of the 11 issues on which the candidates were pitted against one another, Romney’s clearest edge came on the federal budget and spending: Fifty-six percent disapprove of Obama’s handling of the issue — 47 percent strongly so. By a 7-point margin, voters believe Romney is best equipped to tackle the debt.

A WaPo/ABC poll (Ed’s write-up) shows a smaller gap for Obama on this issue:

Romney does not have significant leads in any of the areas tested in the poll, but he has a numerical edge on dealing with the federal budget deficit, 48 percent to 45 percent, among all voters.

But the WaPo poll also gives a clue for how to answer the “47 percent” question when it inevitably comes up Wednesday:

More than seven in 10 are dissatisfied or angry with the way the federal government is working, and by 51 percent to 43 percent, voters see government programs as doing more to create dependency among the poor than to help them get back on their feet.

Moreover, Romney and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.), may be making headway in their argument about the threat of government overreach. Asked whether overregulation or a system that favors the wealthy is the bigger problem, 49 percent of voters say unfairness and 42 percent say overregulation. This is the first time in polls this year that under 50 percent of voters chose unfairness as the larger concern.


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