Remember Republican Senate candidate Pete Hoekstra’s racist, xenophobic, and all around offensive Super Bowl ad? Voters in Michigan do, and Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow now has a double digit lead.
A new PPP poll of the Michigan U.S. Senate race has found that incumbent Democrat Debbie Stabenow leads her likely Republican opponent in the fall, former Rep. Pete Hoekstra 51%-37%. Not surprisingly, running a racist ad full of Asian stereotypes has hurt the likely Republican nominee with voters.
Fifty four percent of voters said that they were familiar with the ad. Forty five percent of them said that the ad made them less likely to vote for Hoekstra, thirty seven percent said that it didn’t matter, and 16% said that the ad made them more likely to vote for Hoekstra.
Interestingly, the number of people who said the ad made them more likely to vote for Hoekstra (16%) is almost identical to the number of respondents who identified themselves as very conservative (17%). Tell me again why very conservative Americans don’t appear to have a predisposition towards racism in today’s political environment?
Conservatives have gone so far out there on the racist ledge that 37% of those who voted for John McCain in 2008 said that the ad made them more likely to vote for Hoekstra.
Sen. Stabenow could best be considered average in terms of popularity. Her favorable/unfavorable is 48%/41%, but the one big thing that she has going for her is that she is not an idiot who runs racist campaign ads in the local commercial break during halftime of the Super Bowl.
As far as I can tell this was the Hoekstra campaign’s plan:
1). Buy airtime during local halftime Super Bowl break.
2). Run the most offensive, racist, xenophobic ad we can think of.
3). When ad gets criticized by locally and nationally, DON’T APOLOGIZE! Instead defend it.
5). Win the election and deport Obama back to Kenya.
This is the problem with Republicans who live and exist only in the Fox News bubble. They probably thought that this was a great idea. After all, Fox News and the entire right wing media apparatus do this kind of thing every day. The Hoekstra campaign assumed that this ad would be a hard hitter and turn voters against the Democratic incumbent.
They couldn’t have been more wrong. This ad went beyond the usual garden variety negative ad that turns voters off. It was offensive, racist, and a turn off. The kind of ad that makes your eyes feel dirty after you watch it.
Hoekstra has lost a net ten points with Independents since he ran that ad. Republicans don’t get that Fox News doesn’t represent mainstream America. When they play to fringe, as the Hoekstra ad did, they push non-Republicans away from them.
Pete Hoekstra isn’t even his party’s nominee yet, and he may have already lost the election. What we are seeing already in 2012 is making the 2010 election look like an aberration, not a revolution, because the loony right can’t seem to keep it together long enough to win an election where Democrats and Independents are also going to show up and vote.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association
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