Documents turned over to Fox News attorneys by a consulting firm provide evidence why Roy Blunt defeated Robin Carnahan in last year's U. S. Senate race.
The talking points used by the Blunt campaign were far more effective in reaching potential voters, something which is obvious from reading the comments of focus groups who watched the ad at the center of the Fox News lawsuit against the Carnahan campaign.
Though the Carnahan campaign has mostly resisted turning over discovery material to Fox News lawyers, consulting firm Shorr Johnson Magnus, gave Fox News ammunition with the focus group results.
They showed that the Blunt team had already been effective in categorizing Ms. Carnahan as a negative campaigner who attacked Blunt, but did nothing to stress her strong points.
Blunt was also successful in his efforts to link Ms. Carnahan with the now-defunct Acorn group and perhaps more importantly than anything else, the "Rubber Stamp Robin" tag, which started early in the campaign and never ceased, accompanied by the clip of President Obama saying he needed Robin Carnahan in Washington, took hold of potential voters who had a negative view of the president and never let go.
Some members of the focus group also echoed the claims by Fox News and Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace that the Carnahan ad featuring a clip of Wallace's 2006 interview with Roy Blunt made it appear that Wallace and the network were for Ms. Carnahan and against Blunt.
Among the comments from people asked about their greatest concerns about Robin Carnahan:
-Why was she quiet about ACORN?
-Too close to Obama
-She will fall in line with the Democrats and continue spending us into the ground.
-Her allegiance is to Obama and not to the people of Missouri.
-May have ignored problems with ACORN, whatever that is
-I don't know what she actually stands for; mostly I know that she wants me to vote against Blunt. I want her to give me a compelling reason to vote for her.
-Do not trust her
-She spends most of her ads attacking her opponent instead of promoting her strengths.
-She is too close to ACORN.
-I would want to know if there is any truth to those ACORN accusations.
-She's in Obama's back pocket. She'll go along with Pelosi who is working against this country.
-She supports ACORN.
-Too cheesy or fake with the farming. Too tied in with ACORN.
-She does not tell us what she will do. She just aligns herself with Obama.
-No really positive ads. More mudslinging. The "party line"
-If she really is in President Obama's back pocket like the ad says, I disagree with a lot of what Obama has in the works. If she's a yes person for him, then she's not for me.
-I just don't know her well enough. She does not come across sincere and believable in the ads I have seen.
-She's a Democrat.
-She's not as convincing. All she does is dig up dirt.
-She is too much a yes man for the president. She also caused too much money to given to the ACORN people.
-How closely is she tied to special interests like ACORN?
-She's a Democratic rubber stamp for Obama and is not a strong candidate. Just another woman attempting to venture into politics like her family.
-She's a yes ma'am to Obama team.
-President Obama endorsed her.
-I am shocked she is so negative. I was really hoping she would run a positive campaign centered on her own talents and beliefs, instead of focusing so heavily on the negative. I am NOT impressed at all.
-She is a mudslinger.
-Obama backer cannot be trusted.
-Carnahan is what's wrong with politicians.
-What is ACORN?
-She is possibly in cahoots with the Antichrist's forerunner.
-She is a very shady character and I do not feel safe having someone represent me in Washington like her.
-She has too many smash ads for Roy Blunt, so maybe she has something to hide or is just a dirty, mean person.
-She is ugly.
The focus group had some positive comments about Ms. Carnahan, but they were dwarfed by those who were concerned about the Obama and ACORN connections.
After testing the Carnahan ad, which used the Fox News interview of Blunt, some reacted just the way the Carnahan team wanted, but there was also a considerable amount of backlash. Among the comments:
-Roy Blunt looks out for the special interest parties not the American people who elected him.
-I am tired of negative campaigns. Say what you want, but don't put the other candidate down.
-This is the way you should do it. Let the media bring out these details. As a woman when you do it, it seems like you're being small ,petty, and a biddy.
-He takes too much money from lobbyists.
-Again, negative campaign. I especially hate the ending...Roy Blunt, the very worst of Washington. It almost makes me want to stay home on election day.
-Don't like this type of ad.
-Another crooked politician
-Once again, he represents what is wrong in Washington.
-He's an idiot.
-It sounds like Blunt is using his position to help special groups at the expense of taxpayers.
-It doesn't show his answer.
-I believe Fox News.
--Should have shown the answer. Don't like taking part of something and making it bad.
-Typical slam media clips.
-That Roy Blunt is not what he wants you to believe.
--When news reporters are involved, it feels more credible to me and makes Blunt look bad.
-I don't want Carnahan telling me what Blunt will or won't do.
-Again, I am not surprised. However, I reserve comment since I did not see Mr. Blunt's answer in his interview.