The Conservative attack ads against Michael Ignatieff, which began on the Internet and then moved to TV, may be hurting the Tories more than the Liberal leader, a new poll suggests.
The Canadian Press Harris-Decima poll found that about half the respondents said the ads had no impact on their impression of the Liberal leader, with 30 per cent reporting a negative effect on their attitude toward him. However, just over half of the respondents said the ads have a negative effect on their feelings about Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Tories.
"The effect seems to cut both ways,'' said Jeff Walker, senior vice-president of Harris-Decima. ``There is evidence that these ads are having a negative effect on Mr. Ignatieff, but an even greater negative effect on Prime Minister Harper."
Early days to see how this all shakes out. However, with the AR poll in Quebec showing nothing significant, now HD showing a net negative for the Conservatives, it's fair to say the "roll out" phase hasn't exactly been successful. I've argued this before, but given the chief liabilities for the Conservatives, one had to wonder if these ads wouldn't play into the worrisome narrative of a hyper-partisan, nasty operation, who isn't focused on the real issues. You might dirty your opponent, but you also tell Canadians that YES, you really are all those things we don't like about you. This poll would tend to confirm that thesis.
Jeff has more, particularly on the "early in the game" front.