The barrage of ads from both the Romney and Obama campaigns are informing the voting decisions of a small but decisive number of voters in swing states — and according to the latest USA Today/Gallup poll, President Obama’s ads are proving more influential than Mitt Romney’s.
In the new poll of voters in 12 battleground states — where the dozens of campaign ads are running — one out of 12 voters said that they had changed their minds about the candidates. Among that small number of voters, a whopping 76 percent now support President Obama while just 16 percent now prefer Romney.
Overall, the race is all but tied in the swing states, with Obama leading Romney 47 percent to 45 percent.
“We gave them new information,” Obama campaign manager Jim Messina told USA Today, explaining why Obama’s ads are proving more effective.
Obama’s ads have been more effective at securing the Democratic base than winning over independents or Republican converts; 13 percent of Democrats, nine percent of independents and just three percent of Republicans said ads changed their mind.
“It is expected to find that more voters say their views have changed about Mitt Romney; they simply don’t know him all that well,” Romney pollster Neil Newhouse told USA Today in response to the survey’s findings. “On the other hand, there are few voters who are going to say their views have changed about President Obama. They know him pretty damned well.”
Media trackers calculate that battleground states saw $15 million worth of advertising in the last week alone, according to USA Today, which cited a prediction of $100 million in ad spending for the coming month.
Though only a small number of respondents admitted that the ads affected them, experts tell USA Today that the actual number is probably higher. Some voters don’t want to admit they have been swayed by advertising while others may not realize that their opinions are being shaped by the ads.
The poll, conducted June 22-29, surveyed 1,200 registered voters in the 12 battleground states of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin and has a margin of error of +/- 4 percent.
Pema Levy is a News Writer at TPM covering the 2012 election. Before coming to TPM, Pema was an assistant editor at The American Prospect where she wrote about politics and the economy.