Friday, October 10, 2008

Ayers Attacks Piquing Curiosity, But Perhaps Little Else

William Ayers' Wikipedia entry is getting between 49,500 and 96,000 hits a day at the moment, which is even higher than the entry of Jeremiah Wright was getting at the height of that controversy. Wright got about 38,500 hits per day during that particular firestorm. have been comparing figures and have found that Obama's favourables have dropped 1.7 points since the Ayers commercial was aired compared with a 5 point drop during the Jeremiah Wright affair.

At the same time McCain's unfavourables have increased by 2 points during this same period with his favourables increasing by 1 point.

If the McCain campaign wants to make any traction here, it will probably need to press the attack continuously, as it has little tangible news value and as interest in these things tends to fade rather quickly. Obama's best strategy may simply be to appear before a national audience as frequently as possible, as voters have always almost reacted favorably to Obama when he has had such opportunities. Obama's favorables ticked upward in all three trackers in today's release, suggesting that his strong performance in Tuesday night's debate may cancel out or exceed any traction that McCain had been able to make on Ayers.
I'm not sure that McCain even has an overall plan here as to what he hopes these ads will achieve. We are watching desperation city where anything goes in the hope of reversing the current trends.

At the moment his attacks are certainly making people curious as to who Ayers is and what Obama's connection to him might be, but they are certainly not causing any hemorrhaging of support for Obama that McCain might have wished.

Part of McCain's problem here is that the public have by now developed a pretty strong idea of who Obama is, and the idea of him hanging around with terrorists simply doesn't sit well with them. So, rather than simply accept McCain's assertion at face value, they are looking into who Ayers is and what Obama's connection to him might be. At that point, unless they go to a site run by the loony right, they will quickly find out just how tenuous the link McCain is promoting turns out to be.

The more people look into this "controversy" the more they will realise that it is utterly false, which I think can only hurt McCain in the long run rather than Obama. This kind of negativity never plays well, especially when it is essentially manufactured.

Certainly McCain's reputation as a "straight talker" deserves to be eliminated entirely by the fact that indulges in the most egregious lies.

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