ByÂ Seth McLaughlin-The Washington Times
Mitt RomneyÂ and his presidential campaign are invading living rooms in key states across the country through a barrage of television ads that aim to convince voters that their economic well-being hinges on a change in theÂ White House.
Backed by his second-straight $100 million fundraising month,Â Mr. RomneyÂ has poured $45 million into his television ad offensive, pounding home the message that four years after PresidentÂ Obamacruised to victory on bipartisan hopes, he has abandoned those voters who sent him to Washington and instead governed as a big-spending liberal.
â€œFour years ago,Â Barack ObamaÂ was concerned about Floridaâ€™s economy,â€ a narrator says in aÂ RomneyÂ ad targeted at the Sunshine State.Â Mr. ObamaÂ was so tied up in passing his health care overhaul that he took his eye off the stateâ€™s unemployment, housing foreclosures and poverty woes, the narrator says. â€œBarack Obama: what a disappointment,â€ the ad concludes.
â€œMany of their ads tap into voter mistrust and seek to turn it to their own advantage,â€Â Mr. WestÂ said. â€œRomneyÂ hopes voters blame the bad economy on the president and concludes they canâ€™t trust him with a second term.â€
Mr. ObamaÂ has run $125 million in broadcast and cable TV ads, chiefly paintingÂ Mr. RomneyÂ as a corporate tool, calling into question his foggy tax history as well as his offshore bank accounts, and claiming that the Republican wants to increase taxes on middle-class families in order to cover the cost of cutting taxes on the rich.
Citing data fromÂ Kantar Media/Campaign Analysis Group, which tracks campaign ad spending, the Associated Press reported Monday that Ohio, Florida and Iowa have been bombarded with more ads than other states, and that between the two campaigns and outside groups, a total of $350 million has been spent on commercials that have run in nine states. The other targeted states are Colorado, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
The messages are repeated in Web ads targeted based on the locations of computer users, and have been adapted for the growing Spanish-speaking voter population.
But the onslaught begs the question: When do the ads reach the point of diminished returns? Polls show voters have a less favorable impression of the Republican, but they still see him as better equipped to handle the economy thanÂ Mr. Obama. Voters also say they would rather have a beer with the president than withÂ Mr. Romney.
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