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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

March 28, 2012 at 6:30 AM

The Etch A Sketch impact

Illustration by Jessica Esch. (www.sayitbest.com)

Illustration by Jessica Esch. (www.sayitbest.com)

One week ago this morning, Mitt Romney was still patting himself on the back after a double-digit victory in the March 20 Illinois primary.

The celebration was short lived.

Later that day, Romney communications director Eric Fehrnstrom appeared on CNN and when answering a question related to conservative stances if his candidate were to win the GOP nomination, compared the fall campaign to shaking an Etch A Sketch.

Media outlets and social media streams jumped on the gaffe, sales of Etch A Sketches shot up 3000%, and both Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich began to use newly purchased Etch A Sketches as props during campaign stops. The Colbert Report had a field day. The event is even referenced now on the Etch A Sketch Wikipedia entry.

But a Pew Research Center poll released yesterday reveals that 55% of the public has not heard of the Etch A Sketch story. With the relentless 24-hour news cycle, can the Romney campaign shake the screen clear, so to speak, and move on?

Perhaps.

While the Etch A Sketch story may fade as Romney’s delegate count increases, it will be interesting to see if the Obama campaign chooses to revisit the story come fall, should Romney secure the nomination. Stay tuned, and don’t turn that dial.

Comments | Topics: CNN, Election 2012, Etch-a-Sketch

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