The latest political TV commercial airing in Pennsylvania and other so-called swing states reaches right into the hearts of voters who supported Barack Obama in 2008 but may now be feeling disillusioned.
Crossroads GPS, the powerful political group backed by GOP operative Karl Rove, launched the minute-long ad, a softer, less abrasive attack than what's become the norm, but sharply focused on tapping into a certain sentimentality of swing voters, particularly women.
The ad opens with a young mother watching her young children play basketball, saying how much she always loved watching them play. Her face morphs into that of an old lady, gray hair and wrinkled, as her children, now adults, come in from outside. She says they can't find jobs and they live at home with her.
“I supported President Obama because he spoke so beautifully,” she says. “He promised change. But things changed for the worse.”
The fictional family portrayed in the ad was based off a composite of interviews with voters, according to the The New York Times background of the ad campaign. The emotional, less nasty tone was an intentional effort to reach a certain type of voter.
Middle-of-the-road voters who said they thought the country was on the wrong track were unmoved when they heard arguments that the president lacks integrity. And they did not buy assertions that he is a rabid partisan with a radical liberal agenda that is wrecking America.
“They are not interested in being told they made a horrible mistake,” said Steven J. Law, president of Crossroads GPS and the affiliated “super PAC,” American Crossroads. “The disappointment they’re now experiencing has to be handled carefully.”
In interviews with voters, Crossroads strategists picked up on some common sentiments that they concluded could provide a clear rationale for voters to deny Mr. Obama a second term.
Some said they felt that the president was an eloquent communicator, but that his actions had failed to live up to his words. They said they thought the country’s budget problems had gotten out of hand, yet the government kept spending recklessly — like someone with maxed-out credit cards. And they reported being worried that their children would not have the same opportunities to get ahead as they had.
Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times