With a possible bankroll of $200 million in hand, the Republican-backed American Crossroads super PAC is about to launch its first major advertising campaign of the election year against President Barack Obama.
Crossroads officials told The New York Times
Sunday the campaign would probably begin next month, then pick up steam from May through July, which they said is considered a critical period for connecting with voters before the party conventions begin in August.
The obvious challenge, Crossroads leader Steven J. Law, told the Times, is “how to dislodge voters” from Obama, who is still viewed favorably even though many Americans are still disappointed with the economy.
Law suggested the ads would likely play up that disappointment, focusing on independent and crucial swing voters who believe “Obama just may not be up to the job, he can’t seem to fix things he promised he would fix.”
American Crossroads was founded by Republican strategist Karl Rove and former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie, who is now working as an adviser to GOP presidential front-runner Mitt Romney.
Although super PACs are supposed to operate independently from candidates’ campaigns, the Crossroads effort is expected to fill an important role for the Romney organization by giving it much needed time to raise money and to plan its own advertising assault on the president in the run-up to the November election.
The Times said the decision by Crossroads to unleash its ad campaign now is recognition that Romney will most likely be the Republican nominee, even though he is only a little more than halfway to the 1,144 delegates needed to claim the nomination outright.
The Times noted the president currently leads Romney in most head-to-head polls in the 12 states considered to be crucial in this year’s race — Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
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