Karl Rove Doesn’t Understand Suburban Women

Karl Rove’s American Crossroads GPS has released a new ad. The whole thing is summed up by this tweet from Dana Houle:

Bar last night, Crossroads ad w woman complaining Obama did nothing for her comes on, guy shouts “YOU HAVE GRANITE COUNTERTOPS!”

It is an excellent example of seeking identification with its core audience and only succeeding in undermining the message.

Look Rove isn’t stupid — the demographic that Romney most needs to make inroads with is suburban women. With minorities and women overall on Obama’s side and white men siding with Romney, suburban women represent the last demographic he can hope to swing the election.

Thus the star of this ad is a clearly suburban woman expressing concern over the weak Obama economic record. But wait, is she watching this on an iPad? Isn’t that decor in the background really nice? And yes, look at those granite countertops. She’s also talking to us during the day, subtly hinting that she’s at least well off enough that she doesn’t have to work.

Trying to create identity between the star of the ad and the target audience makes sense. Unfortunately when their vision of “suburban women” only shows viewers how economically well-off things are it makes for a ridiculous juxtaposition. It also risks driving a wedge between Romney and potentially sympathetic suburban women alienated by the almost aristocratic woman in the ad.

Rove would have been better served just showing a woman watching a soccer game in a non-descript field. Indeed, that’s so obvious it makes you wonder what possessed him to put out an ad like this.

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