Wow. This is how bad the GOP brand has gotten. Ben Smith at Politico reports:
I just got an astounding e-mail from a Republican consultant I know well. He's a guy who's always thought Obama had a "glass jaw," and was always among those agitating for hitting Obama harder.
Recently, he conducted a focus group in an upper-Midwestern state, showing them the kind of ad he thought would work: A no-holds-barred attack, cut for an independent group, which hasn't aired.
I'm just going to reprint his amazed e-mail about the focus group:
Reagan Dems and Independents. Call them blue-collar plus. Slightly more Target than Walmart.
Yes, the spot worked. Yes, they believed the charges against Obama. Yes, they actually think he's too liberal, consorts with bad people and WON'T BE A GOOD PRESIDENT…but they STILL don't give a f***. They said right out, "He won't do anything better than McCain" but they're STILL voting for Obama.
The two most unreal moments of my professional life of watching focus groups:
54 year-old white male, voted Kerry '04, Bush '00, Dole '96, hunter, NASCAR fan…hard for Obama said: "I'm gonna hate him the minute I vote for him. He's gonna be a bad president. But I won't ever vote for another god-damn Republican. I want the government to take over all of Wall Street and bankers and the car companies and Wal-Mart run this county like we used to when Reagan was President."
The next was a woman, late 50s, Democrat but strongly pro-life. Loved B. and H. Clinton, loved Bush in 2000. "Well, I don't know much about this terrorist group Barack used to be in with that Weather guy but I'm sick of paying for health insurance at work and that's why I'm supporting Barack."
I felt like I was taking crazy pills. I sat on the other side of the glass and realized…this really is the Apocalypse. The Seventh Seal is broken and its time for eight years of pure, delicious crazy….
Branding McCain as "four more years of Bush" was the winning strategy for Obama. And it was pretty easy to do, with the (undisputed) fact that McCain supported Bush policies 90% of the time.
I, for one, would prefer that people vote FOR Obama, rather than AGAINST McCain, but I'll accept them any way they come….