Behind newspaper headlines and TV news chatter about Mitt Romney’s time at Bain Capital and President Barack Obama’s record on managing the economy is a heavy bombardment of attack advertising.
At mid-summer, more than a month before either major party stages its nominating convention, each side’s message can be summarized simply.
Republicans cast Obama as an old-style politician who has traded “hope and change” for harsh attacks in order to mask his incompetence in turning around the economy. Democrats cast Romney as the personification of what’s wrong with the economy in the first place – a financial wizard whose expertise is not at creating jobs but rather at reaping dubious profits at the expense of middle-class workers.
Those advertisements aren’t seen in vast areas of the country, including huge population centers such as California and New York whose leanings in the presidential race don’t appear in doubt. Instead, they air principally in a handful of swing states that the Obama and Romney campaigns are battling over, including Ohio, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, Colorado, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Virginia.
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