The seemingly ubiquitous controversy surrounding MoveOn.org's "General Betray Us" ad does not appear to have resonated widely. Few Americans off the campaign trail or outside the halls of Congress have even tuned in.
The ad, which ran in The New York Times as the top U.S. commander in Iraq testified before Congress, provoked anger from lawmakers and a retaliatory full-page ad from Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign (not to mention hours of TV talking head punditry. But a new Fox News poll shows that few are paying attention, and the dust-up has had little impact on opinions of either MoveOn or the Democratic Party.
Just 18 percent of registered voters said they have been paying "a lot" or "some" attention to MoveOn's ad, while more than half, 53 percent, said they were paying "not much" or "none" and one-quarter volunteered they had not heard of the ads.
MoveOn.org itself remains a largely unknown quantity. Only about a third even express an opinion of the group, unchanged since Fox last asked about the political advocacy group in March.
Views of the Democratic Party itself are also similar to what they were in Fox polling earlier this year. Also, few voters see MoveOn.org as an influential faction within the party -- about two in 10 said the group has "a lot" of influence. Among self-identified Democrats, just one in 10 said the group has that much power.
There's also little evidence that the ad will have a major effect on the presidential campaign. Asked whether Hillary Clinton's vote against the Senate amendment disapproving of the ad would impact their thinking, most voters said it wouldn't. Among Democrats, 72 percent said Clinton's vote wouldn't make a difference to them, and of the rest, a higher percentage said it would make them more likely to vote for her (14 percent) than less (6 percent).
The ad's deepest impact may be in riling up groups already at odds with MoveOn. Among Republicans, just 3 percent have a favorable view of MoveOn, while 35 percent have an unfavorable opinion -- up 7 points since March. About three in 10 say the group has "a lot" of influence on Democratic Party policies.
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