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The Weblog at The View from the Core - Mon. 08/16/04 07:23:51 AM

No Wonder Swiftees Scare Democrats Silly

Thanks to a reader for calling this study at Read My Lipz to our attention:

A video released last week by the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth (, an organization aiming to refute John Kerry’s Vietnam war record, proves to be highly effective in raising questions among Independents about the Democratic candidate's military service.
The Swift Boat video – primarily a montage of outspoken Vietnam veterans claiming that Kerry has lied about his Vietnam service – was found by a majority of Independents to be persuasive, with 53.89% responding that this was the case.

See HCD and MCIPO.

Day By Day by Chris Muir, cartoon for: 8/12/2004

P.S. Here are some highlights from the report:

.... Note: These results reflect a small sample of potential pool of Independent voters in the 2004 Presidential Election, and as such should be considered directional in nature.... [p. 4]
  1. Confirming expectations, viewers find the Swift Boat ad to be highly negative.
  2. Despite high negativity, the Swift Boat ad does not push away Independents intending to vote for Bush.
  3. As with past negative political advertising, the Swift Boat ad captures the attention of viewers.
  4. Independents show belief in the Swift Boat ad.
  5. The Swift Boat ad proves quite effective in raising questions about Kerry’s Vietnam service among Independents.... [p. 5]
According to AdverTest real-time tracking data, Independents showed strong belief in the Swift Boat ad. Furthermore, belief rose as the video progressed, which suggests that the continuous clips of veterans denouncing Kerry each add more credibility to the ad as a whole.
Belief in the ad is high at the beginning as Vice Presidential Candidate John Edwards is speaking, but it declines when a photo of John Kerry in Vietnam is shown. Belief begins to rise again when the veterans challenging Kerry’s claim appear, marked in green in Figure 4.1 below, and does not significantly fall again. By the end of the video, belief in the ad is at its highest point. This data suggests that Independent viewers find the claims of the veterans in the ad to be more believable than the claims being made by the Kerry campaign at the beginning of the ad in support of the Democratic candidate’s Vietnam service.... [p. 14]
In the most important aspect of advertising – effectiveness – the Swift Boat ad significantly outperformed the Kerry ad. Not only did Independent viewers consciously attest to the persuasiveness of the Swift Boat ad, but they also reconsidered intentions to vote for Kerry at startling levels after viewing the video.
In overall persuasiveness, Independents were more convinced by the attacks of the Swift Boat ad than by the supporting message of the Kerry ad. 53.89% of Independent viewers agreed to some extent that the Swift Boat ad was persuasive. Meanwhile, 43.25% felt so about the Kerry ad. Also, the Swift Boat ad managed to outperform the Kerry ad yet again in the intensity with which viewers accepted its message. 15.03% of Swift Boat ad viewers chose the strongest level of agreement with the notion that the ad is persuasive, while only 7.30% of Kerry ad viewers did so.... [p. 15]
These results should dismay the Kerry campaign. While maintaining a positive image has become an important theme, the response to the negative Swift Boat ad compared to the positive Kerry ad shows a potential area of weakness that could be further exploited. Merely running support ads may not be enough to sustain Kerry’s image in the face of attacks such as that run by the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth organization. [p. 17]

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Mon. 08/16/04 07:23:51 AM
Categorized as Political.


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