Video: The red-meatiest red-meat ad of all time

posted at 10:01 am on October 17, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

It’s more than a month old, but don’t let that stop you from watching it now.  Potomac Strategy Group recently focus-tested this spot, reports Jim Geraghty, and it produces real movement against Terry McAuliffe — even among Democrats.  There isn’t a line in this that doesn’t drip with red meat, and it apparently works:

Jim published an e-mail from Matt Mackowiak of PSG in his Morning Jolt today:

We ran a focus group, conducted by nationally-respected McLaughlin and Associates, to test the effectiveness of our “Don’t Let Them Detroit Virginia” ad, which you exclusively reported a few weeks back.

Here’s the ad, which has now been viewed over 20,000 times on YouTube alone.

Here’s a short summary of ballot movement after viewing:

GOP voters: +8
Dem voters: +4
Independents: +2
Women: +4 (McAuliffe loses 4)
Men: +5
Over 40: +6
Overall ballot: +5

It has everything that the base would want — attacks on Hollywood, the Clintons, carpetbagging, media bias, and “extreme liberals.”  The only wonder is that the spot fits in a 60-second time frame, but that might be its big problem, too.  Buying full-minute spots gets expensive, and time is running short; the election is in less than three weeks, and Ken Cuccinelli has a lot of ground to make up by then.  Jim wonders, too, whether this will be effective among casual viewers rather than focus groups, who are paying a lot more attention to the ads.

Nevertheless, it’s worth a watch simply to marvel at the genre, even if it’s pretty much substance-free, as many of McAuliffe’s attacks on Cuccinelli have been. Enjoy, especially after yesterday’s debacle.


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Normally, they’re crap on the graphics end, but that’s a visually solid ad.

budfox on October 17, 2013 at 10:05 AM

So the most effective ad against McAuliffe probably won’t ever air. Terrific.

changer1701 on October 17, 2013 at 10:11 AM

Get it on the air and the lsm will cover it as ‘see how hateful those Rs are’.

Kissmygrits on October 17, 2013 at 10:19 AM

McAuliffe is going to win. He is going to win in the land of George Wasington. The “free stuff” campaign of the Democrats can no longer be countered by any rhetoric. And this ad is not “red meat”, it’s just Hot Air that will only echo in the ears of those dwindling numbers of Americans who believe in self-reliance and integrity.

There are abloutely no politicians that have any integrity and d*** few civilians that don’t have their hand out in one way or another.

Ted Cruz ain’t enough. We need Franco.

M240H on October 17, 2013 at 10:19 AM

How sad it would be for Virginia to elect McAwful, who will not just Detroit Virginia, but Obama it.

TXUS on October 17, 2013 at 10:19 AM

Too bad it won’t make any difference. You know how this is gonna go:

Virginia wants the Progressive Agenda and this Clintonite scumbag is just the guy to give it to them. So the voters will vote liberal/progressive on everything, thereby securing Utopia for themselves and their children. What could possibly go wrong?

Humans are not animals. Animals can learn from their own mistakes and by watching the actions of others.

ROCnPhilly on October 17, 2013 at 10:21 AM

Ted Cruz ain’t enough. We need Franco.

M240H on October 17, 2013 at 10:19 AM

There, my friend, is how the light finally dawns on us. We’ve been brainwashed to hate ‘fascists’ like Franco and Pinochet who saved their countries from genocidal Communist scum.

flawedskull on October 17, 2013 at 10:26 AM

I just dropped his campaign some cash to help get this some more air time.

db on October 17, 2013 at 10:27 AM

McDouche will win, destroy the state, send people packing for better climes, and like locusts they will infest somewhere else.

Dumbshiites dont learn, they just point fingers.

Bishop on October 17, 2013 at 10:28 AM

i like this ad. u cut it in half by focusing on last half and make more clear who’s in the gang of 5 in the first half.

gracie on October 17, 2013 at 10:34 AM

Ted Cruz ain’t enough. We need Franco.

M240H on October 17, 2013 at 10:19 AM

No. We don’t need Franco. Thankfully, he’s still dead.

Mr. D on October 17, 2013 at 10:34 AM

Nominating Cuccinelli over Bill Bolling was a huge, huge mistake. Hopefully the top of the ticket will not diminish Mark Obenshain who will make a fine candidate for governor in four years.

Punchenko on October 17, 2013 at 10:35 AM

Just in case HotAir does not boldly mention that McConnell got a 2 billion dollar bribe for his reelection to the senate in Kentucky, may I mention that McConnell took a 2 billion dollar bribe on the debt ceiling deal to assure his reelection to the senate in Kentucky? Now, that’s a very clean bill!

mobydutch on October 17, 2013 at 10:39 AM

The fact that someone like McAuliffe has a snowball chance in he!! in a mainstream state like Virginia says all we need to know about the state of the electorate in this country.

neuquenguy on October 17, 2013 at 10:40 AM

A fun little ad but, I’d suggest, a little to fast and furious. It’s tough to follow and runs too many potential “ideas” by the viewer in a short time “gang if five (what? viewers will ask), the Clinton’s, Obama (who won the state), Detriot, “the media”. You need a Glen Beck flow chart to follow it. Also, shouldn’t they just go all in and say “don’t Californicate Virginia?”

urban elitist on October 17, 2013 at 10:40 AM

Jim wonders, too, whether this will be effective among casual viewers rather than focus groups, who are paying a lot more attention to the ads.

I have the exact opposite reaction: focus groups may be better informed than average voters.

burt on October 17, 2013 at 10:42 AM

Ted Cruz ain’t enough. We need Franco.

M240H on October 17, 2013 at 10:19 AM

No. We don’t need Franco. Thankfully, he’s still dead.

Mr. D on October 17, 2013 at 10:34 AM

Get back to me after Hillary’s second year with both houses of Congress Democrat-led. If you’re still willing to live on your knees in an utterly corrupt, nominally socialist state, I suggest you stay there. Some of us may be trying to shoot over your head.

M240H on October 17, 2013 at 10:50 AM

Get it on the air and the lsm will cover it as ‘see how hateful those Rs are’.

Kissmygrits on October 17, 2013 at 10:19 AM


Why are you being so unreasonably positive?

ExpressoBold on October 17, 2013 at 10:50 AM

Moby alert. Americans don’t want and don’t need fascist dictators.

The only way to turn Va. red again is to cut the federal bureaucracy.

Good luck!

Ted Torgerson on October 17, 2013 at 10:55 AM

Get back to me after Hillary’s second year with both houses of Congress Democrat-led. If you’re still willing to live on your knees in an utterly corrupt, nominally socialist state, I suggest you stay there. Some of us may be trying to shoot over your head.

M240H on October 17, 2013 at 10:50 AM

OOORAH

Roy Rogers on October 17, 2013 at 10:55 AM

Moby alert. Americans don’t want and don’t need fascist dictators.

The only way to turn Va. red again is to cut the federal bureaucracy.

Good luck!

Ted Torgerson on October 17, 2013 at 10:55 AM

Seriously, not a moby. Might as well engage in a little hyperbole; it’s going to inocuous compared to what we get accused of on a daily basis anyway.

And you don’t know your history; Franco did not meet the definition of fascism. Authortarian, ultra-right, nationalist- yes. Fascist- no.

M240H on October 17, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Authoritarian. dang

M240H on October 17, 2013 at 11:02 AM

Cut it down to 30 seconds and run it on TV. Who watches Web ads?

Ward Cleaver on October 17, 2013 at 11:05 AM

time is running short; the election is in less than three weeks

It seems to be a common problem with GOP campaigns – waiting til the 2 minute warning before they start with the passing game.

whatcat on October 17, 2013 at 11:09 AM

I was a bit confused how people in Virginia could vote for McAuliffe. This ad makes that confusion even more prevalent.

It really drives the point that Democrats are making a national power-grab using outside actors like McAuliffe as stand-ins to steal state liberties. That would be a terrible end to a great stat such as Virginia.

Marcus Traianus on October 17, 2013 at 11:14 AM

Cut it down to 30 seconds and run it on TV. Who watches Web ads?
Ward Cleaver on October 17, 2013 at 11:05 AM

If it goes viral, then a lot of people see it and the media picks up on it. I’m not sure this ad has viral quality, though.

But a striking TV ad, even if it airs just once, can leave a lasting impression a la the infamous 1964 Johnson ad against Goldwater.

whatcat on October 17, 2013 at 11:15 AM

I was a bit confused how people in Virginia could vote for McAuliffe. This ad makes that confusion even more prevalent.

It really drives the point that Democrats are making a national power-grab using outside actors like McAuliffe as stand-ins to steal state liberties. That would be a terrible end to a great stat such as Virginia.

Marcus Traianus on October 17, 2013 at 11:14 AM

Do any of McAuliffe’s supporters really think he wants to govern? That he really cares about doing the nuts and bolts grunt-work stuff in Richmond, as opposed to hanging out in Washington and wheeling and dealing to help Hillary in her 2016 bid as well as his own financial situation?

Terry’s term-limited, so even if he wins next month,he’s going to be a private citizen again in 2017, which is probably more of an asset than a liability in his eyes — in his mind, he’ll be free of any governmental ethics rules of conflict of interest violations a year into Hillary’s term (assuming he even cares about paying attention to Virginia’s ethics rules to begin with).

As for Virginia, they’re likely to see the same benefits of having McAuliffe running their state that Chicago’s seen over the past three years of having ex-Clinton/Obama enforcer Rahm Emanuel as its mayor. By 2015, Virginians may be wistfully looking across the Potomac and wishing their governor was as good as Martin O’Malley.

jon1979 on October 17, 2013 at 11:22 AM

The music made me expect to see “Coming soon to theater near you” at the end.

Flange on October 17, 2013 at 11:26 AM

Ted Cruz ain’t enough. We need Franco.

M240H on October 17, 2013 at 10:19 AM

There, my friend, is how the light finally dawns on us. We’ve been brainwashed to hate ‘fascists’ like Franco and Pinochet who saved their countries from genocidal Communist scum.

flawedskull on October 17, 2013 at 10:26 AM

Paging Stoic Patriot! They’re playing your song.

TedInATL on October 17, 2013 at 11:26 AM

Could Christie have swung 6pts by getting into it? Not likely.

MarkT on October 17, 2013 at 11:40 AM

YES!! I love this ad!

WannabeAnglican on October 17, 2013 at 11:50 AM

Virginians may be wistfully looking across the Potomac and wishing their governor was as good as Martin O’Malley.

The only thing we Virginians will be looking at the Potomac for will be to jump in it, and hope it ends our misery, but I’m more of the fighting type, so I doubt I’ll be taking a dip.

RandallinHerndon on October 17, 2013 at 11:52 AM

Also, shouldn’t they just go all in and say “don’t Californicate Virginia?”

urban elitist on October 17, 2013 at 10:40 AM


Think like a conservative and generate a path through the moderate Democrats; even right-leaning Democrats don’t like partial birth abortion and what did McAwful just say? He is a block head for all abortion, any time during gestation. That’s right in “the gang of five’s” wheelhouse.

ExpressoBold on October 17, 2013 at 11:58 AM

Well that was some good, clean fun watching. I live in Virginia…..when the hell am I going to start seeing this ad on TV.

olesparkie on October 17, 2013 at 12:58 PM

Wait. I thought Virginia was trying to become New Jersey…

Galtian on October 17, 2013 at 1:33 PM

Ted Cruz ain’t enough. We need Franco.
M240H on October 17, 2013 at 10:19 AM

There, my friend, is how the light finally dawns on us. We’ve been brainwashed to hate ‘fascists’ like Franco and Pinochet who saved their countries from genocidal Communist scum.

flawedskull on October 17, 2013 at 10:26 AM

The nutjobs now want Franco-like dictators to run the country…am sure the founding fathers would proudly approve…and btw, genius, both Pinochet and Franco were pretty genocidal themselves…Franco killed about 30,000 disidents after the Spanish civill war; Pinochet killed and tortured about 3,000 people and dissappeared some too, on top of the one he killed, about 1,000 of them are still ‘missing’ to this day…

jimver on October 17, 2013 at 1:35 PM

Here is the pro life video ad against Terry Eddie Haskell MCCaulliffe I like: I don’t know the group who put it out, but it is a quality ad. I hope it is on tv?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rO5o5eBSkcY

Fleuries on October 17, 2013 at 1:52 PM

You know in VA they have to get Romney presidential turnout to beat McCaulliffe, and Cuccinelli can win as long as the libertarian turnout is typical gubernatorial levels. This is doable, unless the democrats have arranged for the Obama voters to come out, and they don’t come out on their own like we do. Also, you will need to reserve all the rental busses on election day so the government machine can’t do phony street by street voting.

Fleuries on October 17, 2013 at 1:58 PM

The nutjobs now want Franco-like dictators to run the country…am sure the founding fathers would proudly approve…and btw, genius, both Pinochet and Franco were pretty genocidal themselves…Franco killed about 30,000 disidents after the Spanish civill war; Pinochet killed and tortured about 3,000 people and dissappeared some too, on top of the one he killed, about 1,000 of them are still ‘missing’ to this day…

jimver on October 17, 2013 at 1:35 PM

You apparently missed my subsequent remark about hyperbole. But, that being said, I would wager that Gen. Washington would have preferred Gen. Franco’s company to President Obama’s. I would also contend that Franco’s love of country was greater than our own Commander-in-Chief’s. Franco at least wanted to preserve his.

M240H on October 17, 2013 at 2:03 PM

Hollywood gets me sooo mad.

Well done.

Pablo Honey on October 17, 2013 at 2:25 PM

We ran a focus group, conducted by nationally-respected McLaughlin and Associates, to test the effectiveness of our “Don’t Let Them Detroit Virginia” ad, which you exclusively reported a few weeks back.

Here’s the ad, which has now been viewed over 20,000 times on YouTube alone.

It’s been on YouTube since September 11 and only has 22,000 views! No matter what their focus group said, it’s not exactly viral. (My company gets more hits on our product promotion videos.)

jix on October 17, 2013 at 2:32 PM

I really & truly hope that Cuch wins (I’ll be voting for him)-but I concede the FACT that Bolling would have had a much better chance and Cuch did himself absolutely no favors by going with convention nomination versus an actual primary.

SgtSVJones on October 17, 2013 at 2:39 PM

Well that was some good, clean fun watching. I live in Virginia…..when the hell am I going to start seeing this ad on TV.

olesparkie on October 17, 2013 at 12:58 PM

Don’t wait for the ad to appear on TV.

Send the link to the ad to everybody you know in Virginia NOW!

Post the link on your Facebook page. Tweet it to your Twitter Followers. Every one of us can help to save the state of Virginia, no matter where we live.

Here is the link:

Don’t Let THEM Detroit Virginia
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QJhNMUEjfU

Let’s Roll!

wren on October 17, 2013 at 3:32 PM

As a Virginian, born and raised, this ad hits home. Virginians have always had an independent spirit.
Don’t Detroit Virginia, don’t California Virginia, don’t Hollywood Virginia, don’t D.C. Virginia. That’s a strong message.

yongoro on October 17, 2013 at 10:40 PM

….nice ad!

KOOLAID2 on October 17, 2013 at 11:00 PM