Tales from the Trail

New Obama campaign ad emphasizes work to come

By Eric Johnson
May 7, 2012

Ready, set, go.

President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign released a new television ad this morning — titled “Go” — that lauds the president’s handling of the economic crisis his administration inherited.

The 60-second video, which does not mention Republican White House hopeful Mitt Romney, rehashes the economic meltdown in 2008 and emphasizes that it happened before Obama took office. It casts the president as the protector of the struggling middle class and points to some of his most notable — and least controversial — accomplishments: bailing-out the auto industry, ordering the strike that killed Osama bin Laden, ending the war in Iraq.

“We’re not there yet. It’s still too hard for too many,” a male narrator says. “But we’re coming back … Because you don’t quit. And neither does he.”

“Go” is set to air in the battleground states Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Nevada, New Hampshire, Iowa, North Carolina, Florida and Colorado.

The Romney campaign promptly hit back on the campaign’s TV spot.

“Americans will hear a lot from President Obama in the coming months, but what they won’t hear from him is the fact that his policies have wreaked havoc on the middle class,” Romney spokesperson Amanda Henneberg said in a statement. “After a doubling of gas prices, declining incomes, millions of foreclosures, and record levels of unemployment, Americans know they’re not better off than they were four years ago.”

Obama’s team knows the disappointing statistics. It also knows that tapping into and building supporter enthusiasm — which wasn’t quite strong enough to fill the 18,300-person capacity arena where Obama spoke for his first official campaign rally in Ohio on Saturday — might help it eke out a win in November.

A large chunk of the arena’s upper balcony was left empty, but a campaign official pointed out that Romney’s largest event in Ohio had drawn just 500 people.

A new poll of twelve swing states, conducted by Gallup and USA Today, shows Obama with 47 percent support and Romney with 45 percent, well within the survey’s margin of error of 4 percentage points.

That is a tighter race than in March, when Gallup found the Democratic incumbent with 51 percent and Romney with 42 percent.

But Obama may have an edge when it comes to voter enthusiasm, the poll suggests. “More than half of Obama’s supporters, 55 percent, are extremely or very enthusiastic about voting in this year’s presidential election, up from 49 percent saying this in March. By contrast, 46 percent of Romney’s supporters are extremely or very enthusiastic, unchanged from 47 percent in March,” Gallup said.

Obama just barely surpasses Romney in the overall preferences of registered swing-state voters and has a four-point advantage among swing-state voters who have their minds made up already.

All told, roughly one third of swing-state voters are “not firmly committed at this time,” and other polls have also shown a tightening race in some swing states.

Update: On an Obama campaign media call on Monday morning, David Axelrod, Obama’s chief message guru, called the TV spot “foundational” and said future ads would be tailored to local markets.

“We’re making a significant investment in that, in that buy, over the course of the month we’re going to spend about $25 million dollars on these ads,” Axelrod said.

Campaign manager Jim Messina added that future ads would contrast the president’s vision for the country with Romney’s, including the auto bailout which Romney opposed.

Watch “Go,” via Obama for America:

 

Photo credit: Screenshot/Obama for America

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