Saturday, May 19, 2012

Presidential Election Update May 19, 2012

We are still more than five and a half months away from the November 2012 presidential election but both campaigns have begun testing the message they want the voters to base their choice on in November:  It's the economy, stupid.  President Obama will argue that the economy is much better than it was four years ago.  The message is very similar to one of the best campaign ads in history--Ronald Reagan's 1984 reelection message proclaiming it to 'Morning Again in America', as seen below.

The president's campaign began with the message 'Forward' making the argument that the policies put in place over the last three and a half years have pulled the nation out of the worst recession since the Great Depression.  Yet, there is still work to do and now is no time to revert to the policies that led to the recession.  Here's the first reelection ad from the president.  An abbreviated version of the ad ran on television.  Here's the web version, which is over 7 minutes long.

Meanwhile, the Romney campaign has also begun advertising on television in several key battleground states.  The focus for the Romney camp is also on the economy.  The Romney team hopes to paint a contrast between the recovery under President Obama versus what the policies of a President Romney would look like.  Here's the ad:

For now, it seems both campaigns want to run somewhat positive ads, though each has a negative undertone...Obama attributing the economic collapse in 2008 to Republican policies, Romney arguing that growth is too slow because Obama 'blocked' job creation.  

Of bigger concern will be the role of the 'unaffiliated' Super PACs unleashed by the Citizens United decision two years ago.  Both sides are likely to spend in excess of a couple hundred million dollars on negative attack ads.  This may turn out to be the most brutal campaign in many years.  Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, the madness of the polling organizations continues to show a volatile race between Obama and Romney.  One poll has Romney up a couple points, the next has Obama comfortable ahead.  It's too early to make any forecasts but here's what they look like today:

Media Polls

Gallup Daily Tracking Poll

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