The general election has only just begun, but the early television advertising patterns show that three states – Iowa, Ohio and Virginia – may be the ultimate battleground bellwethers that could determine the outcome of the race.
As of Friday, President Obama's campaign has run 10 TV ads, six of which aired in multiple states. According to Hotline's TV ad tracker, Iowa, Ohio and Virginia are the only states to be targeted in each of Obama's six multi-state ads, an early indication that these three states as his top electoral priorities.
Mitt Romney went up Friday morning up with his first tv ad of the general election, a 30-second introductory spot that's currently airing in – you guessed it – Iowa, Ohio and Virginia.
Of course, these ads are only an opening volley in a long battle. There are 17 broadly labeled "battleground states" that are ostensibly within reach for either party – including 11 legitimate "swing states" – and all of them will see plenty of advertising. The strategies employed by both campaigns will evolve.
But Obama's overt emphasis on these three states, and Romney's decision to launch his ad campaign there, shows both campaigns can at least agree on one thing: The road to the White House seems destined to go through Iowa, Ohio and Virginia. Read more
NATIONAL JOURNAL’S PRESIDENTIAL RACE REPORT
Mitt Romney's Foreign Policy Moment
[Politico, 5/20/12] As world leaders meet for the G-8 and NATO summits, now may be the right time for Mitt Romney to veer away from the economy and clarify his position on a number of international issues.
Romney’s Faith, Silent But Deep
[New York Times, 5/19/12] Though Romney generally declines to talk about his Mormonism on the trail, it's been a defining influence in his life and informs many of the choices he makes and many of his positions on important political issues.
Axelrod: Mormonism Off the Table
[National Journal, 5/20/12] Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod said on Sunday that it would be inappropriate to discuss Romney’s religion on the campaign trail, but added that Romney should more strongly denounce attacks on Obama’s relationship with his former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
Republicans Attack Obama on Debt Ceiling
[National Journal, 5/20/12] It was deja-vu for Republicans on Sunday, as GOP leaders in the House and Senate attacked what they claim is President Obama’s failure to lead on reducing budget deficits and increasing the federal debt ceiling, shades of last summer's battle.
Is the GOP Trying to Sabotage the Economy to Hurt Obama?
[Associated Press, 5/19/12] That's the new Democratic refrain, at least, with a vote to raise the debt ceiling looming and Republicans again warning of a hyper-partisan debate over spending during the coming lame-duck Congressional session.
Pollsters Offer Insider Advice on Appraising the Races
[National Journal, 5/19/12] At a gathering of pollsters, there was general agreement that horse-race polls are useful for the day-to-day score, but don't necessarily predict who will win come November.
Michelle Obama’s Campaign Strategy: Steering Clear of the Hot Issues
[Washington Post, 5/19/12] Michelle Obama, while on television almost as frequently as the president, has shied away from hot-button issues, preferring instead to back widely popular issues like defeating obesity and helping veterans and their families.
Cory Booker: Attacks on Private Equity ‘Nauseating’
[National Journal, 5/20/12] Newark Mayor Cory Booker slammed the Obama campaign’s attacks on Romney’s time at Bain Capital, showing that not every surrogate will spout the campaign’s talking points without question.
Rubio Comes Out Swinging at Obama in South Carolina
[ABC News, 5/19/12] Rubio, speaking at the South Carolina GOP's Silver Elephant Dinner, said Obama's view of America "is a failed one" and called him "divisive."
Ricketts Learns the Cost Of Politics
[BuzzFeed, 5/19/12] The ad that conservative billionaire Joe Ricketts considered bankrolling, which was deemed by many to have racial undertones, has had effects not only on the political conversation nationwide, but also on Ricketts' bottom line, as some consumers boycott his businesses.
Romney: Reinforcing Alliance's Military Might is Vital
[Chicago Tribune, 5/20/12] Romney had sharp criticism for President Obama in this Chicago Tribune op-ed, published as the NATO summit took place in Chicago. He wrote that Obama's efforts to cut military spending have not only undermined America's military prowess, but also hurt the NATO alliance as a whole.
Ron Paul Supporters Dominate Minn. GOP Convention
[Associated Press, 5/19/12] Supporters of Ron Paul at the Minnesota state Republican convention gained 12 of the 13 available delegate seats to the Republican National Convention this summer, once again capturing delegates despite losing the popular vote.
Barney Frank Won’t Invite Obama to His Wedding
[National Journal, 5/20/12] Citing concerns about the Secret Service, Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., said that while he’d be honored if Obama wanted to come to his wedding in July, he wouldn't be inviting the president.