Watch Ads Dominating Swing State Air Waves

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Oct. 21 2012 2:10 PM

The Ads Dominating the Swing State Air Waves in Final Weeks of Campaign

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A woman views a Mitt Romney TV ad

Photo by KAREN BLEIER/AFP/GettyImages

Pity the swing state voter. Sure, his or her vote might actually matter but for that privilege there’s a cost: ads, phone calls, home visits. Campaigns and outside groups are expected to spend $1.1 billion in TV ads this year, mostly in the nine really competitive states, according to the Associated Press. Those states are seeing a flood of TV ads that, as the Los Angeles Times points out, can be studied to better understand what each side thinks could help win over the still-undecided voter. Not surprisingly there are lots of targeted ads, designed to appeal to, for example, seniors in Florida. But there are also general themes, with Mitt Romney, for example, clearly wanting to emphasize the idea that the economy could be doing much better.

On Sunday, Romney released his latest ad that emphasizes his record of bipartisanship while he was governor of Massachusetts. “He's says he's only had 4 years. That's all Mitt Romney needed,” the ad says. “He turned Massachusetts around, cut unemployment, turned the deficit he inherited into a rainy day fund—all with an 85 percent Democratic legislature.”

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Watch this and the other TV ads dominating the swing state air waves after the jump:

It’s little surprise that Romney is focusing much of his efforts on the economy. One of his most heavily run as shows how the Republican criticizes the president’s economic record in the first debate:

For his part, President Obama is making an effort to show how the economy is moving on the right track, featuring testimony from people who say the president understands what it takes to move the country forward:

Obama is also focusing on portraying Romney as an out of touch rich guy, with one ad that is almost entirely devoted to showing the former governor answer a question on 60 Minutes about his lower tax rate:

In trying to appeal to women voters, President Obama also released an ad saying Romney would ban all abortions:

Romney's response features a woman saying she looked into the claims against the Republican and it “turns out Romney doesn’t oppose contraception at all” and thinks abortion should be an option in some cases:

And that’s just a sample. Little wonder that even Ann Romney readily acknowledged the cumulative effect of all these political ads might be a bit much for the average voter. "Trust me, the audience members that are in swing states are sick of them," she said on ABC’s The View on Thursday, according to the AP.  

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.