Political advertising: what a beautiful, never annoying, always pleasing way of informing voters so that they can be fully aware of the facts before they mark their ballot. Over the years, political advertisements have become even better, more truthful, more informative, and ultimately so much more helpful. We are a better country because of these beacons of truth that are broadcast over the airwaves…
Well, now that we’ve established what a crazy person would say, let’s talk about reality.
Political advertisements are saturating the airwaves. With the advancement of Super PACs, and with more money than ever flowing into campaign coffers, the flood of commercials has become ridiculous. Now, I’m not saying they’re not effective. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that says political advertisements have at least some effect on elections. That being said, things are beginning to get even more outrageous.
Two of the latest campaign commercials from the Left are prime examples. They are all flash and no substance. One is straight out of the Obama camp, and the other is from Michael Moore and MoveOn.org.
Take a look at this commercial:
What, exactly, is the point of that commercial? It offers no new information, and it doesn’t provide any really specific details about either candidate. What it DOES do is appeal to a particular demographic: 18 – 29 year-old, female voters. This commercial is designed, using humor, ridiculous innuendo and a vague appeal to “lady parts” to appeal to female, college age voters.
Now take a look at this commercial from MoveOn:
What does THIS commercial accomplish? Like the first one, it doesn’t mention anything specific. It just features a group of elderly folks cursing and making rude remarks. Once again, even though the commercial features the elderly, it is clearly marketed to youth voters.
This is all well and good. There have certainly been some strange commercials from both the Right and the Left over the years. But I want to know why THESE specific commercials right now? Why does the Left need to make an appeal to the youth? Young voters turned out in historic numbers in 2008 to vote for Barack Obama. According to nationaljournal.com:
“In 2008, 18- to 29-year-old voters posted the third-highest turnout since 1972, and broke for Obama over Republican nominee John McCain by a 2 to 1 ratio.”
So, what’s the point? Well, the youth of America doesn’t seem to be quite so enchanted this time around. Once again, according to nationaljornal.com:
“The Harvard Institute of Politics’ national survey of 18- to 29-year-olds…found that while likely young voters favor Obama by a 19-point margin—55 percent to Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s 36 percent—only 48 percent say that they definitely plan to vote next month…All signs indicate that young voter turnout will not be shattering any records on Nov. 6.”
Ah, now the commercials make sense. Obama is losing the youth vote, not necessarily to Romney, but to apathy. However, rather than trying to appeal to youth voters’ brains, they are pandering to young people’s low brow humor; using shiny objects to lure them in, like an angler fish trolling for a meal.
This is great news for the Romney camp, because it is yet another sign that the Obama campaign is in trouble. Following Big Bird and “Binders full of women,” this looks like one more step toward an Obama loss.