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The Swifties' ad is giving the Kerry campaign fits

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Swift Boat TV Ads Packing Punch, Says Leading Pollster

The Swifties’ ad is giving the Kerry campaign fits

Six out of ten voters in 19 “swing” or “battleground” states have heard of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth television ad questioning John Kerry’s war record, says a seasoned national pollster.

“Something like this can matter in what is likely to be a very close race,” says Tony Fabrizio of the Fabrizio, McLaughlin & Associates polling firm. “In fact, it could be John Kerry’s undoing.”

Fabrizio, who is best known for his work as pollster for 1996 Republican presidential nominee Bob Dole, said he did his survey on the ad independently and not on behalf of the Republican Party, the Bush campaign, or the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. “We are doing [polling in] the 19 states strictly for ourselves,” he said in an interview with HUMAN EVENTS. He does such surveys, he explained, to obtain data he can use in articles and on television and radio talk shows.

Fabrizio polled nearly 1,000 voters in 19 swing states. Nearly 60% said they had heard of the Swift Boat ad. Although half of those surveyed said the commercial had not influenced their vote, 19% said it made them “more likely” to vote for Kerry, and 27% said it made them “less likely” to vote for Kerry.

Fabrizio said the poll asked respondents to answer some “true or false” questions about Kerry. “About 90% responded that it was true Kerry was a Vietnam veteran and perhaps two-thirds knew that he won three Purple Hearts in Vietnam,” he said. Those who knew of the decorations Kerry won, he said, were “probably 10-to-12 points more pro-Kerry” than those who simply knew he was a veteran or supported him because he was the Democratic nominee.

“In other words, knowing he has three Purple Hearts gives John Kerry more persona,” said Fabrizio. “And if that part of his record is successfully questioned, then Kerry has suffered a hit. And in a close race where every little bit counts, Kerry can’t afford to sustain too many minor hits like this.” Fabrizio’s findings were seconded in a study of the Swift Boat ads by the firm HCD Research. Prof. Chris Borrick of Muhlenberg College, who did the study with HCD, told the New York Post: “The whole goal of a negative ad is to plant a seed of doubt–and it did.” HCD’s chief Glenn Kessler (who wasn’t paid by anyone for the analysis), added that “Obviously, the Swift Boat Veterans’ intent was to publicly question Kerry’s war record and it looks like they succeeded.”

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John Gizzi has come to be known as â??the man who knows everyone in Washingtonâ? and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on whatâ??s going on in the nationâ??s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as â??Gizzi on Politicsâ? and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of â??Gizziâ??s America,â? video interviews that appear on HumanEvents.com. Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. Johnâ??s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com

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