Ohio Countdown 2004

2004 Presidential battleground analyzed by a grizzled campaign veteran and Ohio's Top Targeted Undecided Perfectly Predictive Swing Voter - His Mom.


Bush In Panic - Places Abortion Ad Buy In Cleveland

An ad on 60 Minutes is the most expensive piece of advertising real estate in prime time.   If you place a buy on 60 Minutes, it had better be effective.  On that measure, the latest Bush ad buy in Northeast Ohio is a complete waste of money, in more ways than it is possible to count.
This Sunday night, Bush Cheney aired a hit piece on abortion on 60 Minutes.  The ad attacks Kerry for opposing parental notification laws, and alleges he supports distribution of the morning after pill to high school students.
Whatever the truth or merits of this argument may be, to air a pro-life attack piece on abortion in the most highly Democratic (i.e., pro choice) media market in Ohio is suspect logic. 
The only possible explanation is that Bush continues to have a base problem.  Pro-lifers need to be revved up, get back into the Bush base, and get mobilized.  How ever many of them there are in Northeast Ohio, they need to have some gasoline thrown onto their fire.  Makes sense, right?
It would...if it was done right.  If you are going to rev up pro-lifers, you don't complain about pansy-ass issues like parental notification and RU-486.  You go after Kerry on partial birth abortion.   That's like throwing raw meat at Pat Robertson.   This ad is milk toast in comparison.
Yet another sign that Bush Cheney is in complete panic.  They are losing their base, trying desperately to regain it, and doing so with complete incompetence, wasting money on the most expensive TV time available with an ad that will not work.


At 11:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kerry will do it smarter and better!! Go team!!

At 11:36 PM, Blogger Thomas said...

You're completely wrong on this count. You are confusing 2 distinct aspects of the abortion/pro-life issue.

There is a strong pro-life base that opposes abortion in almost all forms (with varying degrees on rape, the life of the mother).

But, many Americans who consider themselves pro-choice are OPPOSED to giving morning-after pills to high school students and are in favor of parental notification laws.

You completely misread the intent of the commercials. Their aim is to highlight these issues to "moderates" and convince them that Kerry is too liberal for their views, despite the pro-choice views.

It's not a "hit piece," it's smart politics. Either you couldn't figure it out or you are trying out some spin.

At 2:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the Dems might pull through with above average voter turnout.

You shouldn't expect anything better from Elizabeth Auster, though. Or any of the other shmucks whom the PD keep as columnists. It's an embarassment, but I've come to terms with it. They make the Dispatch look like editorial champions.

At 2:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"to air a pro-life attack piece on abortion in the most highly Democratic (i.e., pro choice) media market in Ohio"

In Cleveland and surrounding suburbs, that may be true, but Cleveland broadcast reaches far beyond Cuyahoga County and neighbors. They reach all the way to Mansfield in Richland County, which is nearly a toss-up, and Crawford County, which has the odd aspect of voting Democratic (liberal) for people usually, but Republican (conservative) for issues.

When you figure that the media market reaches many nominally Republican populations that are hidden from metro Cleveland's view, the ripple effect could have far-reaching consequences for the whole state.

At 3:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BC2004's not trying to rev up their hard-core anti-abortion base here, but appeal to conservative Democrats -- blue-collar cross-over voters that define a lot of Ohio politics. They aren't outright pro-lifers, but do go for some more moderate, "common-sense" stuff like parental notification and bristle at the idea that some school official would hand out morning-after pills to their 14 year-old highschool daughter. If there's an anti-Bush angle on this, it's that at this point he's hoping to change the subject at this point in order to attract and/or keep Reagan Democrats in his column: rather than talking up the economy, talk up values. While that works with hard-core social conservatives, it's unlikely to motivate centrist voters who worry about the economy a lot more.

At 9:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think your analysis is flawed. I believe this ad IS in fact primarily targeted toward swing voters. You make the mistake of assuming the pro-life vote is never up for grabs, but this is most definitely not the case. Northeastern Ohio, for instance, is (I believe) home to a decent number of Catholic voters, many of whom are often up for grabs (Reagan Democrats, anyone?). It is likely that many of these people are leaning toward Kerry, to be sure (over economic and foreign policy dissapointment with Bush), but have also been known to display a certain amount of social conservatism. This ad is intended to push the "Kerry is an extremist left-liberal" meme, and as such is primarily geared toward scaring away sociallly moderate/conservative voters (read: Catholics). And this logic, by the way, is exactly why ad the uses cites what you refer to as "pansy-ass" issues: Because it's not targeting true "movement" conservatives (who definitely ARE firmly in Bush's camp), but rather the socially moderate/conservative ethnic voters who are to be found in droves all over the Midwest.

At 9:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BC04 is facing a huge Democratic turnout this year and they are trying to get their base out as much as possible. As ABC's Note keeps saying: can you find five Gore 2000 voters who are switching to Bush this year? Almost unheard of. But it's easy to run across people who were marginal Bush voters in 2000 who are ABB this time around. That is the trouble BC04 is up against and they know it.

At 9:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with some of these posts that argue that these ads are aimed at blue coller catholic Democrats, after all it is places like Parma, not Cleveland Heights, that give Voinovich landslide majorities. However, that doesn't mean this is good politics. My bet is that in 2000 the perception was that the economy was pretty good so many voters in this reagion cast their vote on social issues because they didn't feel like their lively hood is on the line. However, the economy is very dicey for blue coller workers in north east ohio and this will certainly trump social issues for everyone but the true beelivers who were already voting for Bush.

To sum up, this ad may be aimed at "Reagan Democrats" but it ain't going to work.

At 11:09 AM, Blogger Nan Whaley said...

I agree with the previous posts regarding the ad. I saw the ad last night and it is going after the moderated not shoring up their base. It is dangerous for us and just the beginning of the painting of John Kerry as the "liberal". If we are going to win Ohio, we have to stay FAR away from social issues and go after them on economical.They will do the opposite and this ad proves it.

At 11:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uh No. The ad--which is not described by you--describes Kerry's priorities in terms of showing up to vote. he missed 2/3 of votes while campaigning, yet he showed up to vote against parental notification, against the Laci Peterson law, etc.

It is a powerful ad, juxtaposing what he refused to vote for and what he did. The fact that it doesn't speak to you is because your mind is already convinced. However, when swing voters take a measure of John Kerry this year, the last thing Kerry wants them to consider is his votes over the past few years. [A measure of that is Kerry's insistence on taking positions now that seem to or actually conflict with previous votes.]

Kerry's problem this year is his record. He may be able to obscure it, but the BC04 campaign isn't about to roll over and play dead.

At 10:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Finally kicked the hornets nest eh Russo?
You septics always reveal the true parochial nature of the US political system.
Abortion is the least of your problems!
Try these:
and a Prez that bought the job.

And the thing that is gonna swing the great: 'Who gets to press the red button' contest hangs on whether some drunk teen that gets knocked up by someone of the football team gets a bloody pill!

Teach them this:

Don't have sex.
Use condoms.
Take a regular contraceptive pill.

And don't worry about it being an offence against God,
'cos we invented most of the religions you use anyway (except maybe Charlie Manson and that mob that drank Gatorade with poison in it so as to get up to a spaceship getting towed by the Hale Bop comet).

Meanwhile in this Green and Pleasant land Lord Butler said that Tony Blair was lawful to go to war.
And it was the spooks at MI6 that got it wrong...so thats alright then.

Kerry holding at 11/10
Bush 4/6

Rule Britannia!

Lord S


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