Obama’s Negative Ads

I was beaten to the punch by my commenter, I was going to post almost the exact same thing.

His comment about Obama spending more on negative ads than anyone in presidential race history is probably accurate, and yet 2-to-1 people think that McCain is running a more negative race. Why – probably because Obama is also doing more positive ads than anyone in presidential history too, while McCain doesn’t have the cash for the ads to actually improve his reputation.

There’s a lot of detail about their advertising spend and how it breaks out here. A nice graphic is here.

As a percentage, McCain is running much more negative. And most of that negative is what’s called “character-based”. His top three ads (1) call Obama dishonorable and lie about a quote, (2) talk about William Ayers and blind ambition, and (3) paint Obama as a compulsive tax-cutter. Two out of three are “character-based”. In contrast, Obama’s are all about McCain’s policies, none of them are “character-based”.

Obama is spending about four times as much as McCain on advertising. Obama has announced even more record donations, so the margin is growing ever bigger. Of that, 41% is negative. So he sets a record. McCain is much more negative. If he had the money, he would set a record. But he doesn’t, so he complains about it. Another weak talking point that falls apart.

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