It is early, but thus far, it is advantage Clinton in the “Ad War.”
By: Alan Steinberg – Columnist News Talk Florida
In the middle of the 20th century, it was axiomatic that presidential campaigns didn’t really start until after Labor Day. In this era of modern presidential campaigns, where television commercials are the dominant factor, that axiom is now vastly outdated.
A presidential campaign can now ineradicably define the opponent with well targeted commercials during the months of July and August. That is what has happened in this campaign of 2016.
The campaign of Hillary Clinton has spent a total of $61 million in television commercials in the Battleground States, as compared with the relatively paltry sum of $5 million spent by the Donald Trump campaign. The Clinton commercials are highly effective, and they have ineradicably defined The Donald as an unfit commander-in-chief, with values out of sync with Middle America.
The following commercial of the Clinton campaign effectively uses videos of Trump himself. After viewing this commercial, your average viewer is likely to question Donald Trump’s sanity, let alone his fitness for commander-in-chief:
Next, let’s look at the commercial produced by the Hillary Clinton Super Pac, Priorities USA. In the Battleground States, the impact of this commercial is devastating. It illustrates most graphically the vast difference between the values of Donald Trump and those of Middle America:
Now compare and contrast the preceding two blockbuster Clinton commercials with the following Trump campaign commercial. It is one of the lamest I have ever seen. The production quality is terrible, and it only appeals to the Trump base of angry white working class voters – at a time when he is desperate to expand his national map.
Word has it that the new (and highly overrated) Trump campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway wants Trump to flip flop on immigration. If he does that, his base will desert him, and Clinton will then have the potential to gain leads in over 40 states – including Texas. If and when Trump sees that, I believe that he will withdraw from the campaign, using as a pretext an argument he will provoke over the debate rules.
If Trump does not flip flop on immigration, the national poll popular vote margin between him and Clinton will narrow. The leads of Clinton over Trump in the Battleground States will not narrow, however, and may, in fact, widen, due to the huge Clinton advantage in both the quantity and quality of their campaign commercials.
In my view, Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia is the best election guru and forecaster in America. As shown by his analysis in this map, he now has Hillary Clinton having in her column as safe or likely states having a total of 273 electoral votes – three more than the 270 she needs for election:
Sabato also has five states with a total of 74 electoral votes leaning towards Hillary, plus one electoral vote from a Congressional district in Nebraska. If her lead holds up in these “lean” states, she will have a total of 348 electoral votes, a most comfortable victory.
I think Sabato, as virtually always, is accurate. As he puts it, “To us, this means that Trump has to find a way not just to sweep all Republican states and the remaining states classified Leans Democratic but to dislodge at least one Likely or Safe Democratic state. Anything can happen over the next dozen weeks, but we wouldn’t recommend betting your children’s college funds on a Trump administration.”
Unless there is a new revelation implicating beyond any reasonable doubt the Clintons in criminal behavior, this rodeo is just about over, folks. By October, I expect the Republican National Committee to withdraw their funding of the hapless Trump campaign and focus on the retention of control in the U. S. Senate and House of Representatives.
The map used in this story came from the University of Virginia, and videos were from YouTube.
Alan J. Steinberg served as Regional Administrator of Region 2 EPA during the administration of former President George W. Bush and as Executive Director of the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission under former New Jersey Governor Christie Whitman.