Voters aren’t just passively watching the Obama campaign ads attacking Mitt Romney’s career at Bain Capital — they’re Googling to find out more and telling their friends about it via social media.
Ads produced by the Obama campaign and pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA Action portray the private equity firm that Romney founded as having laid off middle-class Americans and shipped their jobs overseas. The ads have sparked a major controversy in the media about the candidate’s role at Bain at the time the outsourcing took place. (Romney says he was no longer involved in the company “in any way” after 1999, but SEC filings list Romney as “Managing Director of Bain Capital, Inc.” through February, 2001.)
The chart below, courtesy of Talking Points Memo, shows that, presumably due to the power of the ads and the intrigue of the controversy, interest in Bain as represented by Google searches and Twitter mentions has increased dramatically in the last few days.
The Obama ads seem to be having some effect on the perception of Romney as a “jobs creator.” Earlier this month, a Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that, compared with February, more voters in swing states now say Romney “did more to cut than create jobs in the United States when he worked as a corporate investor before entering politics.” The poll also reports that “twice as many swing-state voters consider Romney’s work in buying and restructuring companies a reason to oppose, rather than to support, his candidacy.”