Dems plan $20-million negative ad blitz on Trump prior to GOP convention

A Democrat super-PAC has announced a plan to spend $20 million on negative ads about Donald Trump even before he is nominated.  National Journal has a paywall-protected story on the plan.  Obviously, they are planning to use the same strategy on Trump they used on Romney: establish an unshakeable image of the GOP nominee as not a nice guy, a rich guy indifferent to ordinary Joes and Janes.

But Donald Trump is a very different target from Mitt Romney.  For one thing, he hits back.  For another, he is already well known to the voting public in a way that Romney, despite all the campaign publicity, was not.  While the Democrats gleefully excerpted out of context Romney’s awkward phrase “I like to fire people,” Donald Trump’s catchphrase is “You’re fired!”

How do you turn negative against a guy for lacking compassion who is running on his toughness and ability to overthrow the corrupt old order?  Can the Democrats move beyond their habitual pose as the sob sister party?  And is a large enough segment of the public still looking for comfort from political leaders and freebies from the feds?

Because of his race, Barack Obama was never subjected to sustained negative attacks.  But Hillary Clinton has much less immunity as a woman.  Yes, she is reaping fundraising gains from Trump’s “woman card” remark, but she also has extraordinarily high negatives, is the very definition of a Washington establishment figure, and is not trusted by a majority of the voters.

We are heading toward Negativeland – not the San Francisco Bay Area experimental rock band, but an election year in which the question is not which candidate you like, but rather which one you detest less.  Some foresee record low turnout, but I am not so sure.  Anger is probably the dominant emotion of the public, and anger drives turnout.

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