President Obama has spent more money on ads per electoral vote in Iowa than any other state, but it doesn’t seem to be paying off.
The latest poll results out of the Hawkeye State show Mitt Romney leading the president, 47% to 44%. That’s within the margin of error, but if you’re an incumbent trailing your opponent by three points, then it also has to be worrisome.
Following the Republican National Convention, the Romney-Ryan campaign hit Iowa with this ad:
As you can see/hear, the ad is not very good. I think this, however, is a better ad:
Just imagine what effect more ads like this one would have on the polls.
In 2008, President Obama won Colorado by nine percentage points and Nevada by twelve points. Polls have shown the presidential race this year to be a dead heat in both states. Rasmussen Reports shows Romney with a two-point lead in Colorado, 47%-45%, while the president leads him by the same margin in Nevada. (The president has a one-point lead in Colorado, according to a Quinnipiac poll, and a CNN/Opinion Research survey puts his lead at three points in the Silver State, 49%-46%,.) Nevada is a particularly interesting case because, while polls have shown the president with a consistent lead in the state for months, he can't seem to break 50%. In any other state, this would portend inescapably bad news for the incumbent in what is essentially a two-way race, but Nevada is unique, in that it allows voters to cast their ballot for "None of these candidates." Thus, Obama's sub-50% approval rating need not be drag on his campaign if he can convince enough voters that Romney is an unacceptable alternative.
There's a lot of stupid people out east.
The money the president's campaign has been pouring into other swing states has yielded more appreciable dividends, however; he's opened up a small but obvious lead over Romney in Ohio and Virginia, and Michigan--which once looked like a swing state--now appears to be out of play. The Obama campaign has not been spending a lot of money in Michigan, but outside groups and labor unions have been covering for them, and the polls indicate a marked shift toward Democrats. The Detroit News poll has Obama up leading Romney by 14 points in Republican's the native state; last month, that lead was six points. EPIC-MRA also shows the president widening his lead over Mitt Romney in Michigan; late last month, their poll showed Obama ahead by just three points, 49%-46%, but their latest poll of likely voters in Michigan gives the incumbent a ten-point lead, 47%-37%. (Note that both candidates have lost support, though Romney has lost a lot more than Obama.) Republicans aren't convinced Michigan is a lost cause, however; Restore Our Future, the conservative super PAC that boosted Romney in the primaries, will be running ads in several media markets throughout the state through October 2nd.
I'll cover Ohio and Virginia in a separate post, but I wanted to also mention that the presidential race remains a dead heat in Florida, which has expectedly been the largest recipient of campaign spending this election cycle, and of course, Obama's campaign has outspent Romney's, while pro-Romney/anti-Obama groups have slightly outspent pro-Obama/anti-Romney groups on the airwaves. With less than seven weeks to go before election Day and early voting already underway, the question becomes whether Romney, Ryan and their allies can overpower the president's machine (which I'll be posting about next week), especially with voters in some swing states feeling overwhelmed by all the attention focused on them. As November 6th draws closer, the effectiveness of campaign ads becomes more and more limited. Let's hope the Romney campaign makes the most of the next few weeks.