The Colorado Independent’s chief political reporter, Jason Kosena, joined political consultant Eric Sondermann and Westword media critic Michael Roberts to discuss the the current crop of political ads on KBDI‘s Studio 12, the hour-long public affairs roundtable and call-in show, Wednesday night.
Host Dominic Dezzutti steered a lively conversation about the effectiveness of negative ads (there wouldn’t be so many if they didn’t work), the outsized influence of outside spending (can say things candidates wouldn’t dare), and the line between spin and outright fabrication. Watch the show here.
The panel examined a half dozen political ads, including “Skip” Udall; another anti-Udall ad, Peace Van, notable for its unconvincing hippie; and the tide-turning “Biggest Celebrity in the World” ad run by the McCain campaign against Barack Obama (the infamous Paris Hilton and Britney Spears ad).
At the end of the discussion, which included several illuminating phone calls from viewers, Dezzutti asked each of the guests for their final impressions. Kosena said:
I think it will continue to be effective. I can guarantee we’re gonna see more ads in coming weeks than we’ve already seen right now, both online and on TV. Unfortunately, most of those will probably be negative because they really do work, and whether or not voters — you can ask a voter does negative advertising work on you, and they’re gonna honestly to the truth of their bones say no it doesn’t, but when they go and vote, it really is having an impact and the message is sinking in. So I think because it does work and because the message does sink in, we’re just going to see a lot more.
Asked whether he’d be glad for the return of Jake Jabs commercials, Roberts said:
The last election, I actually wrote a column after the election saying I was so happy to see Jake Jabs back, I was so happy to see Dealin’ Doug, they have my vote and I would vote for ’em if they came on earlier because that would at least end some of this other advertising. But Jason’s right, this stuff is going to be a deluge over the next seven weeks, so keep that Tivo warmed up so you can skip these suckers if it’s bothering you or if you’ve already made up your mind and you don’t want to be assaulted by it anymore because they’re going to be coming hot and heavy.
Sondermann kept it succinct:
It’s gonna get bumpy. This is a very close senate race and this is — Colorado is a swing state, maybe the pivotal state in the presidential race. The money that’s going to get spent here, I don’t think we have any idea what we’re in for the next six or seven weeks.