As Barack Obama and John McCain drop niceties for harsh politicking, interest groups are seeing a thumbs-up from the candidates to bombard Americans with millions in provocative TV, mail, and Web ads. Groups including unions, MoveOn, the Minutemen, and pro-life BornAliveTruth are planning ads, the New York Times reports, including ones that link McCain to lobbyists and Obama to a ‘60s radical.
Obama and McCain are accusing each other of propping up the propaganda, still a nascent effort compared to the $75 million spent on TV ads by this point in 2004. But new campaign rules will let the ads run until Nov. 4, boosting their influence. “The closer you are to Election Day the more disruptive you are,” says one analyst.