Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Schauer Releases Second TV Ad

Catching Up... -- Fitzy

On September 14, state Senator Mark Schauer released his second television advertisement:

There are some striking similarities and even more striking differences between this ad and Congressman Walberg's second television ad. Like Walberg's ad, the important part is the personal testimonial-- one person in front of the camera, sharing his thoughts on the candidate. These tend to be effective. It's good politics to show other faces than your own.

But Walberg's second ad was an attack ad and very negative (with scary music and everything). It ended on a frightening note: "Our survival is in jeopardy if we let [Schauer raise taxes]." Schauer's ends with soft music, a message of hope, and a sense of accomplishment: "Our jobs are staying here, and we have Mark Schauer to thank for it."

I don't know which message will be more effective. Anyone who's been watching politics for the last eight years knows that fear works and motivates voters, but the last year has shown that hope works, too. I just think it's interesting.

Now that both candidates are on the air, I'd love to see some polling that asks about the effectiveness of the ads. But, sadly, pollsters don't come to me for ideas, nor do I have the money to commission polls myself.

Also interesting, though less important in terms of moving voters, was the fundraising e-mail sent out by the Schauer campaign after releasing the ad. One part of the e-mail reads:
We can't let Tim Walberg get away with another vicious smear campaign against me, like he did two years ago against Joe Schwarz.
Obviously, this shows that Democrats know how to use fear, too, just in a different sort of way. But I think it's also telling that Schauer is starting to invoke Joe Schwarz in these e-mails. Schwarz is every Michigan Democrat's favorite Republican, and for many good reasons, and memories of the 2006 primary are a good motivator for Schauer's donor base. But Schwarz is still a powerful influence among independents and Republicans in the district, too. I'll be interested to see how much his name is used as we move closer to November.

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