Monday, June 08, 2009

Nanos: attack ads not hurting Liberals

I'm out the door to catch the train for a brief trip to Ottawa, but before I go here's some recently released polling from Nanos that polled specifically on the effectiveness of the Conservative attack ads, and indicates they haven't been particularly effective:

Properly crafted and validated by the political target, negative ads can be a powerful political tool.

Research by Nanos on the impact of the recent Conservative ads attacking Michael Ignatieff indicates that in the short term they have not had a significant impact. A majority of Canadians consider the ads ineffective and believe that they reflect poorly on the Conservatives.

Of note, the ads have had a marginally negative impact on the impression of Michael Ignatieff primarily among committed Conservative and NDP voters. However, the attack ads have had less of an impact in Atlantic Canada and in battleground Quebec.

Factoring the latest ballot numbers and the last six waves of Nanos tracking since the last election, the Conservative attack ads have not arrested the incremental trend which currently favours the Liberals. The conclusion is that the ads have had no discernable short term impact in favour of the Conservatives. The long term negative impact on Ignatieff remains uncertain and merits further tracking over time. This may well be the first salvo in a narrative the Conservatives are hoping to explore.

Yet more validation that these Conservative ads have been a misfire. I do agree that the impact bears watching in the long-term.

That doesn't mean, however, that the LPC doesn't need to respond more forcefully. I do think a limited ad buy, focusing on our issues (such as the economy) is necessary. We need to look at the long-game. I also note the regionals show these ads were most effective in Ontario. This province has been volatile, and we need a strong lead here to be competitive in the next election.

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Mark Francis said...

The long term really matters. The science here is that over time, most people forget where an opinion came from, and adopt it, or at least view it less critically if it has become common. This is also how politicians at times try and succeed with revisionist narratives: Litte-known facts can be obliterated by falsehoods often repeated.

Gauntlet said...

I'm surprised that Nik still bothers with these sorts of questions.

There is absolutely no evidence that I've ever seen that people have any idea what effect ads have on them. Ask them if an attack ad was effective and you are guaranteed not to get a useful answer.

Have you ever met a person who believed they were deeply susceptible to advertising? It's like how 80% of us think that we're better-than-average drivers.

I wouldn't take any confidence from these numbers. I wouldn't take anything at all from these numbers.

A BCer in Toronto said...

I agree this isn't an easy thing to poll, and just straight-out asking isn't overly effective. It needs to be gagued over time in leadership #s, and even then it can be tough to link to a cause.

Certaintly no home run yet anyways. But the higher Ontario # does give me pause.

Nevertheless, I've maintained all along we need a response campaign, and that feeling hasn't changed.