Positive Ads Working in Ohio
Much is being made of the "toning down" of the convention rhetoric in Boston. As this blog has shown, I like a good Bush bash as much as the next guy...but staying positive, especially in a place like Ohio, does work.
In fact, of all the ads that I've seen aired by the Kerry campaign in Ohio, not a single one of them could be characterized as negative, or attack, or a hit piece. Conversely, just about every ad that the Bush campaign has aired in Ohio has been a negative attack piece.
The McCain Feingold campaign finance reform law has its problems, but one little provision has proved very useful...the acceptance of personal responsibility for the message. Attacks on Bush are coming from the 527's - MoveOn.org, The Media Fund, and others, hammer away at Bush on the airwaves. But there's no tag line saying, "I'm John Kerry and I approve of this message." Thanks to McCain Feingold, Bush's fingerprints are all over his hit pieces, making Bush the only candidate using negative ads in Ohio.
Voters in Ohio are hyper tuned in for the slightest negative attack. Dirty politics regularly backfires in Ohio, probably because the state is so targeted so often with so much negativity, the voters have had it.