A Side for the Soup
Two new polls are out today, both showing the Liberals with a slight lead:
Ekos (n = 10,986, demon dialed)
Angus Reid (n = 1,002, online)
So, what does it all mean vis-a-vis the infamous attack ads?
Well, off the bat, there hasn't been much movement in the polls. The Tories are down 2 in Angus Reid, while the Liberal lead has shrunk in Ekos - both polls are consistent with what most pollsters have been saying of late.
Angus Reid did some funky split samples, with 1/3 of respondents being shown the attack ads, 1/3 being shown the ads and Iggy's YouTube response, and 1/3 serving as the control group. Here's what they found:
The momentum score for Harper among respondents who saw the ad is -40 (10% improved, 50% worsened), and the prime minister posts similar numbers among those who saw the ad and the video (9% improved, 52% worsened) and those who were not exposed directly to either the ad or the video (7% improved, 49% worsened).
The momentum score for Ignatieff among respondents who saw the ad is -18 (24% improved, 42% worsened). However, the opposition leader bridges the gap with those who also saw his YouTube video (29% improved, 31% worsened) and is even among those who did not see the ad or the video (28% improved, 28% worsened).
For the purposes of the comparison, it should be pointed out that a month ago,
they had Ignatieff's momentum at +11 and Harper's at -20. So both men took a beating, even in the control groups. That's not to say the ads are necessarily the cause - over the past month we've seen Ruby Dhalla controversy, a 50 billion dollar deficit, Archie choose Veronica over Betty...who knows what could be responsible?
But back to the experiment. It doesn't seem like direct exposure to the ads changed impressions of Harper significantly (from -42 to -40), but they certainly had an impact of what people thought of Ignatieff (from 0 to -18).
However, most of this damage seems to have been neutralized by seeing the response video. The logical conclusion is therefore that the Liberals cannot afford to stay quiet. The only problem is, even with improving fundraising numbers, can they afford to respond?
And, you know, anyone who wants to help them do just that, might want to mosey on over here.