Campaign effects are important, but not that important:
So, again: there are campaign effects and fundamentals. Campaign effects themselves include various things — issue positions, ads, the candidates, GOTV and other mobilization efforts, and more. Fundamentals include political context stuff and performance stuff, of which the economy has turned out to date to be by far the biggest. The overall finding has been that fundamentals matter more than campaign effects, but that campaign effects are real — but given that overall campaign effects are of limited (but real!) importance, it’s going to be very hard for any specific campaign action, an ad or a debate quip or an issue, to do all that much.
So in our race for Governor, you sometimes hear people say “Yeah Tom Corbett looks weak now, but wait til he starts spending all that Gasland money.”
And yes, that’s going to bring a lot of fake “independent” Republican voters home, but look at the fundamentals and you’ll see that he’s facing major headwinds.
Private sector job growth has been stalling out under the Republican policy regime, and public sector job growth looks even worse. Corbett closed a bunch of schools and forced local school districts to make up for his education cuts with property tax increases, because of unfunded state mandates and such. Even the bloody natural gas jobs are in free fall, and Corbett’s been trying his very best to make those. It’s all bad, and he’s gonna lose even with the cleverest ads.