An explosive Priorities USA ad has dominated the campaign this week, though it hasn’t aired once on TV. It is, however, still getting play in some crucial swing states.
Of the half a million who’ve clicked on the ad on YouTube, most come from precisely the states Priorities USA hopes will see it.
Priorities USA, the super PAC supporting President Obama, has caught flak for the ad, which features a laid-off steel worker who blames his wife’s death from cancer on losing health insurance coverage after Bain Capital shut down the factory where he worked.
Republicans are enraged over the ad, and the Obama campaign has tried (rather unsuccessfully) to distance itself from it. The Karl Rove-founded Crossroads super PAC launched its own ad to tar Obama with the Priorities ad’s claims.
Priorities has denied the ad suggests Romney is responsible for the death described in the ad.
The Crossroads ad is airing on TV; the Priorities ad so far is online-only (though it is getting free heavy rotation on cable news as the controversy rages on). But Priorities points out the ad is being seen by the very voters Democrats want watching it. Below is a breakdown of the top five states in which the Priorities ad is getting its YouTube clicks, via Priorities:
1. Florida: 48,979
2. Pennsylvania: 28,473
3. California: 28, 084
4. Ohio: 23,739
5. Virginia: 22,887
Take out California, and you’ve got four of the most targeted swing states this cycle. Of course, there’s no way to tell whether the swing-state residents clicking on the ad are over 18, or registered to vote (though that also rings true of TV ads).
Nor are the numbers huge — or anywhere near the viewership of a broadcast TV spot — but they do suggest Priorities is getting its message to the voters it wants to reach, even as the ad agitates Republicans and Team Obama.