THE BLOG
08/14/2012 08:26 pm ET Updated Oct 14, 2012

Obama Or Romney: Who's Ahead $2.5 Billion

The web-wide consensus of how people feel about Obama and Romney shows two candidates spending heavy on ads but without hitting the mark.

Something is clearly wrong if two guys can spend $2.5 billion on Presidential election advertising and still not have a message that voters can rally around. Or remember.

In 2008 one of Obama's key advantages was social media. He used Twitter, Facebook and others to spread his message. And those venues still work. His follower/fan count is still large and dwarfs Romney's. But why hasn't that led to overwhelming popular support? Simple: The message has to resonate to be shared. So why isn't it resonating as much today as in 2008?

Now it seems to be more about what a candidate isn't going to do than is. Or an ad vs. a plan. No big vision. This has left Americans almost 50-50 on Obama and Romney. In other words, opinion voting by party lines. Let's take a look at the web-wide consensus and trend:

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Obama supporters are left wondering how a guy (Romney) who doesn't want to disclose tax returns, disparages London about the Olympics, and lacks an "average guy" presence could come so close to being as popular as their professorial Obama.

Romney supporters are wondering what Obama can do for "change, part 2" after four years of it.

What began in early July with Obama clearly winning the popular opinion saw Romney gain ground to almost even the score.

While popular opinion doesn't win elections (although many believe it should) -- the Electoral College vote does -- it is a valuable tool to measure if America supports one candidate's views over the other.

The overall consensus is Obama remains popular but lacks a "wow" factor that people can rally behind. Vision matters. Jobs. Health. Economy. A breakout plan is needed.

Romney has taken advantage of that and increased his mindshare among the public through more ads and social media buys.

Neither candidate really stands out right now as a leader with a plan. To win, one must. So far, the real winner is the media: $2.5 billion in ad sales. Ads don't win elections.