Friday, April 04, 2014

Behind the Ad: The Koch brothers care about the health care of ordinary Americans (stop laughing)

By Richard K. Barry

Who: Americans for Prosperity (political advocacy group back by the Koch brothers)

Where: Arkansas

What's going on: Sen. Mark Pryor (D) is the incumbent up for reelection. He is in a very tough battle with Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.). In the ad, a trucker by the name of Jerry says that Obamacare led to his health insurance policy being canceled.

He continues:
It's like living in a haze — you don't know whether you're going to have insurance or whether you're going to afford your insurance,

Mark Pryor voted for this law. He hasn't been that responsive to the issue now, you think he'll be responsive four years from now, or two years from now?

In an increasingly red state in which President Obama is particularly unpopular, going after Obamacare is a no-brainer. According to polling done in December, Obama's favourable/unfavourable rating was 31/61 percent. Romney got 60.6 percent of the vote in 2012 to Obama's 36.9.  And money is already pouring into the state and more will follow.

Pryor is in a difficult spot, and could easily go down. 

Grade: In my totally unscientific assessment of political ads, I'm most interested in how effective the ad is likely to be,  not whether I think it's fair or true or whatever, or whether I'm sickened by the presumption that the Koch brothers give a damn that anyone has health insurance. But that's not the point. As Dave Weigel writes about his particular ad:
Jerry's problem is not that his plan has been canceled, per se. It's that the fate of the plan is lost in confusion. "It was taken away from us, or it was given back to us, or it was taken," he says, exasperated. These AFP ads are designed to have long tails, as liberals criticize them and smear the humans who appear in them. A guy who's confused about Obamacare? That could be me!

In a state becoming increasingly red, where they don't like Obama anyway, this could work. Whatever else may be true, Jerry is a powerful spokesman. B

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