Voters are being flooded on the airwaves with anti-Obama messages, but a 30-person focus group conducted by Frank Luntz found "The Hope and the Change," a movie about voters in swing states like Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Florida who voted for Obama but will not do so in 2008, was the most effective.
Republicans intent on defeating Obama commissioned the focus group to test "The Hope and the Change," Dinesh D'Souza's "2016: Obama's America," which has seen success at the box office, and "Dreams From My Real Father," a movie that theorizes Frank Marshall Davis, a Communist, is really Obama's father. "Dreams From My Real Father" has been distributed in mailers across some swing states, but, according to the New York Times, the movie tested the poorest in Luntz's focus group.
The Times also reported that according to Luntz, while conservatives loved D'Souza's movie about how Kenyan anti-colonialism shaped Obama's beliefs and will continue to do so, the movie could "undermine" Romney's cause among independents.
Republicans who commissioned the research wanted to see if any of the movies were worth backing financially in a broader way, and Luntz's focus group came away most persuaded by "The Hope and the Change," a movie directed by Stephen K. Bannon and produced by Citizens United.
Sean Hannity said "The Hope and the Change" movie was "the most powerful documentary" he had ever seen, but observers noted the movie resonates among independent and undecided voters because the ex-Obama voters featured in the movie are exactly like them and not actors reading from scripts.
Undecided voters are more likely to be persuaded by people who share their backgrounds, hopes, and fears, and "The Hope and the Change," which is airing on local cable stations nationwide, accomplishes that via its in-person testimonials. Those featured in the movie are not actors or oily politicians -- they are average Reagan Democrats without agendas, and that is why the movie's message is more credible and resonates with independent and undecided voters, especially those who voted for Obama in 2008.
Pat Caddell, Jimmy Carter's adviser who is an expert on the so-called Reagan Democrats, worked with the movie's producers to interview independent voters in the swing states who voted for Obama in 2008 and will not do so in 2012 because they have been disappointed by his false promises and rhetoric.