It was the most brutal attack ad run against Donald Trump, and it was tanking. Twenty-nine voters, all of whom supported or used to support Trump, watched retired Air Force Col. Tom Moe not so subtly compare the Republican front-runner to Adolf Hitler.
“You might not care if Donald Trump says he’s going to round up all the Hispanic immigrants, because you’re not one,” Moe said onscreen. “You might not care if Donald Trump wants to suppress journalists, because you’re not one. But think about this: If he keeps going, and he actually becomes president, he might just get around to you.”
Frank Luntz, the Republican media consultant who had put together this focus group, watched the dials turn down. On a scale of zero to 100, the ad’s effectiveness never got above 20. It did not help that the ad was produced for Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio), a presidential candidate no one in the group supported.