This just in: Bain attack still not working

Two analyses from the flawed WaPo/ABC poll, as well as spending in swing states, deliver grim news to Team Obama this morning.  Their main line of attack in which they hope to paint Mitt Romney as an uber-rich vampire capitalist clearly isn’t moving the needle among voters — and that’s true despite an overwhelming spending advantage Barack Obama has enjoyed in the early going.  Unless they can come up with a better argument, Romney’s fundraising will shortly put them in a very big hole.

First, the WaPo’s Chris Cillizza notes that the spending strength of Team O has a serious downside, considering the results:

What’s clear from a broad analysis of ad spending in the swing states is that conservative super PACs are supplementing Romney in a way that is keeping him very much in the game. (A new Gallup/USA Today poll of 12 swing states shows Obama at 47 percent to Romney’s 45 percent.)

And now, with word of Romney’s massive June fundraising — $106 million collected — it seems likely that Romney will not only be able to equal Obama on air but, with an assist from the Republican super PACs, over take him between now and November 6.

And that’s a very scary proposition if you are on the Democratic side of the aisle.

That probably won’t take place until after Labor Day, but that’s precisely when it matters.  Romney has held back on massive ad campaigns — not entirely, but not to the extent that Obama has — while he gathers his fiscal strength.  This far out, it’s questionable whether an advertising blitz will even reach voters effectively, as they tend to tune out the television while going on vacations and engaging in other summer activities.

In this case, we can see how effective a massive summer campaign is, too, since Obama has conducted one.  National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar looks at the WaPo/ABC poll and declares it nothing more than a wash, a way to mark time:

Two things have become clear in the presidential race over the past month. One, it’s evident that President Obama’s campaign team believes, with good justification, that attacking Romney’s record at Bain Capital to portray him as a wealthy, out-of-touch millionaire is their most effective line of attack. Second, it’s becoming clear that the attacks are doing more to buy the Obama campaign time than seriously change the trajectory of the race.

For all the attention paid to the effectiveness of President Obama’s Bain-themed attacks, it’s remarkable how Obama has been stuck right around 47 percent for a very long time.  As the Washington Post‘s Chris Cillizza documented, the president’s team has handily outspent Romney and his allied super PACs, pouring in $91 million into eight swing states in an early spending barrage intended to make Romney seem an unacceptable challenger.  But for all that effort, the numbers haven’t moved much at all: The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll out today shows the race deadlocked at 47 percent. Yesterday’s USA Today/Gallup swing state poll showed Obama statistically tied with Romney, the exact same result the survey showed one month ago.

In other words, Team Obama spent a lot of money — an overwhelming amount — and it changed nothing about his standing in the race.  Meanwhile, Romney saved his money and will have a big funding advantage in the post-Labor Day environment, while Obama struggles to raise funds.  While Kraushaar thinks that Bain attacks are the most promising of Obama’s strategies, clearly they haven’t done anything even when Obama has had the stage to himself, after two full months of deploying this strategy.  Even the WaPo/ABC poll shows that half of voters don’t care, and only 24% in a sample with 33% being Democrats think it constitutes a reason to vote against Romney.

If that’s the best option for Obama, he’s in deep trouble.  Kraushaar thinks so, too:

They’ve gotten their first impressions from the early Obama television ads, but Romney will have his chance to tout his positives with the August convention and upcoming debates.  There’s a reason why the Obama campaign is trying to disqualify Romney early on. Because if they don’t score an early knockout, it becomes harder to win over the late deciders as the election approaches.

If class warfare is all they have, they’re going to fail, and fail badly.

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David Strom 12:31 PM on December 07, 2022