Nanos research did a survey to judge the effectiveness of the Conservative Party's recent slew of attack TV ads and finds in the short term, at least, they have had little impact.
In fact, a majority of Canadians consider the ads ineffective
Interestingly, however, Nanos did find the ads had a "marginally negative impact on the impression of Michael Ignatieff primarily among committed Conservative and NDP voters."
Committed Conservatives, of course, would naturally find the ads persuasive. But what about the NDP? Why did the ads make an impression on socialists?
Well, it's like I noted a few days ago; these ads are primarily appealing to a populist anti-American sentiment, an emotion that runs deep in Canada's left wing.
Is this what the Tories had planned?
Maybe. After all, by playing the anti-American-card in this way, it's possible the Tories could indeed drive leftists out of the Liberal camp and into Jack Layton's arms -- which would be good for the Conservatives.
However, the danger is that such a strategy could also cause many small "c" conservatives -- traditionally more pro-American -- to abandon the Conservative Party.
Indeed, Nanos reports that "50.6% of committed Conservatives believe the ads reflect either somewhat negatively or negatively on the Conservatives."
Turning off your base is never good policy.