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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Obama closing on progress or future: Unique web test says, would you believe, ‘both’

The following is cross-posted from a Democracy Corps e-blast:
With the election campaign reaching the eve of the last debate, President Obama has talked extensively about his future plans in the very successful second debate, and has aired an ad narrated by Morgan Freeman, talking about progress made in the last four years and concluding, “The last thing we should do is turn back now.” On the stump, the president has posed the choice between enriching the top again and finishing the job: “We can choose to go back to the same top-down policies that got us into this mess, or you can choose to move us forward with the policies that have been getting us out of this mess.”
Our fear was that the progress message would sound out of touch and fail to give those voters who are on the edge financially hope that life would be better in a second term, particularly when Mitt Romney was on the air with his plans to create 12 million jobs. Fortunately, the survey confirms the utility of both the progress/don’t go back and future policy messages.
We conducted a special web survey this week where we tested the actual Morgan Freeman ad aired against the Romney 30-second plan spot with 500 respondents. In a parallel sample of 500, we tested an Obama future plans spot (cut down to 1 minute, 25 seconds) against the Romney 60-second spot on his economic plans. We looked at agreement, credibility, and memorability, and most important, looked at the impact on the key question, who would do a better job handling the economy.
Most importantly, in video form and content both Obama ads scored more strongly than the Romney spot. Bottom line, Obama is closing in ways where he can make gains on the economy and in the race.
Read the full memo at Democracy Corps.

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