Sunday, July 6, 2008

Taking the Attacks off the Shelf

Barack Obama has had to dodge a few Republican bullets since Hillary Clinton ended her campaign last month, but he hasn't had to deal with what's about to come his way: massive anti-Obama advertising.

Head to head against McCain (debates, town halls, press conferences, etc.) I think Obama can defend himself well enough, but hundreds of millions of Republican dollars will soon be pumped into television sets around the country to try and change voters' opinions about Obama. It is the sad truth of modern day elections, but a large portion of the electorate will vote in November based upon their "impressions" of Obama, not what he actually stands for as a politician.

Some of these ads will be successful (think Swift Boat Vets for Truth...) and some won't be. But one thing is clear to me: negative advertising will be very effective in stopping Obama's inroads into new Democratic territory—Montana, Georgia, North Carolina, Indiana—where unpleasant half-truths about Obama will resonate with a traditionally conservative base of voters.

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