I'm interested in readers' thoughts.
When the Arkansas Democratic Party rolled out advertising featuring Gov. Mike Beebe responding to Republican affiliate attacks on Arkansas, I was complimentary.
The pushback was welcome. Now, having spent more hours this weekend around a TV than usual, I've seen the Democratic ad aired several times and I've begun to wonder about its effectiveness.
The ad talks about an out-of-state group trashing Arkansas. True enough about Americans for Prosperity, the Koch-funded Republican campaign auxiliary. But do people who receive AFP ads or see their TV spots know this is an out-of-state group in the first place? Arkansas is in the name of the local affiliate. Do voters really follow the steps necessary to move from the Beebe TV ads to specific AFP mailers attacking individual candidates (dishonestly though they do) for tax increase and Obamacare votes? I'm not so sure. The Democratic Party is limited, of course, in what it can spend in direct support of candidates. The AFP, Sixty Plus and other secretive "independent" groups labor under no such limitation.
The Democratic Party ad only gets around to mentioning the sponsor in the required disclaimer at the end. After several viewings, I really had to wonder if it would affect voters in casting "D" votes down the ballot election day. The Republican Party's indelible linkage of D with the Muslim black man is far easier to understand, I say with some regret.