Majority Disapproves of ‘Betray Us’ Ad
Americans across the political spectrum disapproved of the “Betray Us” ad, according to a new Rasmussen poll.
Twenty-three percent (23%) of Americans approve of an ad run in the New York Times “that referred to General Petraeus as General Betray Us.” A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 58% disapproved. Those figures include 12% who Strongly Approve and 42% who Strongly Disapprove.
Self-identified liberals were evenly divided—45% approve and 39% disapprove. However, only 19% of moderate voters approve while 62% disapprove.
Forty-seven percent (47%) of all adults say that “stunts like the MoveOn.org ad” hurt the cause they believe in. Only 12% believe they help the cause while 17% say there is no impact. Twenty-four percent (24%) are not sure. Again, political liberals are divided with 27% saying they help and 32% taking the opposite view. Fifty percent (50%) of moderates and 57% of conservatives say that these sorts of events hurt the cause the group is trying to promote.
It’s surprising, frankly, that the approval was as high as it was given the ridiculously poisoned question framing. “Stunts like the MoveOn.org ad”?
Of course, the popularity of an ad doesn’t necessarily mean much. After all, the rationale for running an advocacy ad is to get attention — which MoveOn got in spades — and to raise awareness for a position that is presumably not already the prevailing view. The more interesting (but harder to answer) question is how much the discussion generated by the ad moved public opinion and in what direction.
Polls consistently show that people hate negative advertising and attacks used as part of the political process. Almost everyone wants the debate to be more civil. Yet there’s no doubt that these tactics are very effective. That’s why they continue to be used.