Anyone seeking an explanation of GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich’s recent drop in Iowa polls may see why in a new analysis of Iowa political advertising. Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group finds 45% of all political ads in Iowa have been attack spots against Gingrich. Only 6% were supportive of the former House speaker.
Gingrich’s opponents were quick to pile on after he became the front-runner in December. A super PAC supportive of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney carried out a sustained assault on Gingrich’s record, saying the former House speaker “has more baggage than the airlines.”
Other candidates, like Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Texas Rep. Ron Paul, produced ads that slammed Gingrich for being a Washington insider who was paid to influence votes after he left Congress. Gingrich has denied those charges.
The amount of negative advertising against other candidates doesn’t come close to the level of strikes against Gingrich. Romney, who has been running near the front of the pack in Iowa for months, has been negatively targeted in only 20% of the ads. 10% of the ads in Iowa have been pro-Romney, paid for by his campaign, reported CNN.
Even in ads attacking Romney, the focus was on multiple candidates, as in a recent Perry spot accusing him and several other GOP hopefuls of being career politicians. Ads pegged to Gingrich’s record have tended to focus solely on him.