A super PAC announced tonight that they’re hitting Donald Trump with some hard-hitting ads featuring Sen. McCain. When I read the part about Sen. McCain, I was skeptical. After reading the Our Principles super PAC probably shift strategy “to remind voters in New Hampshire about the disgraceful things that he said about John McCain”, it makes sense. Katie Packer, who was Mitt Romney’s deputy campaign manager in 2012, is now “the leader of Our Principles PAC.” She noted that “McCain has long and deep ties to New Hampshire” because “he’s considered to be a war hero.”

The great thing about Our Principles PAC is that it doesn’t attack Trump. It simply uses Trump’s own words against him. With Mr. Trump stagnating in New Hampshire and Sen. Rubio rising fast, this round of advertising couldn’t be better timed. Saying that the race is fluid is understatement. That doesn’t mean that Trump’s support will crater. I’m just saying that with 40+ percent of voters either undecided or willing to change their votes, Trump’s victory-in-waiting isn’t a certainty. It’s a likelihood but it isn’t a certainty.

Packer sees Trump as wounded, saying “He was getting a lot of great publicity because of this air of inevitability and that nothing could take him down. [But] we started seeing his negatives go up considerably almost immediately after we went up in the air and started dropping mail.”

That air of invincibility is disappearing. It isn’t entirely gone but Trump’s act is getting boring. The cable networks aren’t falling over themselves to have him on like they did a month ago. TYhis isn’t good news for Trump:

“We have a little bit more time in South Carolina, which is nice, so we will be able to hit with more content,” Packer said. “You can expect to see some more delving into his business stuff as we move into South Carolina. Because we have more time to put more lead on the target.”

South Carolina is a rough-and-tumble primary. Mr. Trump will have lots of incoming in the days before the First in the South primary. It isn’t a state that’s a good fit for him. (Before I get the emails, yes, I know he’s leading there by a gazillion points. That will change before the New Hampshire Primary and it’ll change even more after the First in the Nation Primary.)

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4 Responses to “Will McCain be Trump’s demise?”

  • eric z says:

    Gary: Do you suppose there will be much political candidate pro and con advertising during the Super Bowl broadcast, aside from in New Hampshire, South Carolina?

    Do you have any idea how the various superPAC leaderships pick outlet channels? Is talk radio advertising chosen, or FOX primetime, or what else?

    I have always wondered that, I remember among the auto, beer, and retirement fund advertisements on sports broadcasts the occasional 30 sec political spiel, in the past, and it did not strike me as effective or even proper.

    Is Trump broadcasting much advertisement in primary states; did he in Iowa? Is it mostly negative ads by the superPACs or candidate positive advertising?

    Gary, do you know if that’s been studied? It seems a slam dunk topic for some university PoliSci prof. after tenure.

  • Gary Gross says:

    Eric, Here’s an article that should answer some of your questions about advertising.

    Trump hasn’t run much of a campaign. His ‘campaign’, if it can be called that, consists of flying into a city, holding a well-hyped rally, then getting out of Dodge quickly. His organization in Iowa was virtually nonexistent. The bad news for him is that he has less of an organization in NH & SC than he had in IA. It’s a very high-profile campaign but it isn’t a muscular organization by any stretch.

  • Elise Lee says:

    So, now you know McLame is not as revered as you thought. I’m a vet and I thank McLame for his service; I have nothing but contempt for his unapologetic RINOism. #Vets4Trump #Blacks4Trump

  • Gary Gross says:

    I despise McCain’s RINOism, too. I’m just not willing to vote for a man questions Sen. McCain’s patriotism.

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