Ahead of what's being billed as a major policy address Tuesday in Iowa that will focus on debt and the deficit, Mitt Romney's campaign released a four-minute web video highlighting the stories of some of the 23 million unemployed Americans.
The slow-moving, somber ad highlights three Iowans who have been unemployed for a long period of time, including one woman who has seen her unemployment benefits run out after two years, with another man lamenting about having to accept government assistance.
Given the country's sluggish economic recovery and the high rates of unemployment in the United States, the stories told by those in the Romney ad will resonate with many.
But as far as a needle-moving spot in terms of the election, it may fall short, thanks to the current state of American attitudes about the economy.
Economic confidence is as high as it's been since January 2008, according to a Gallup survey released Tuesday, though that's not to say Americans' attitude about the economy is rosy.
"Despite its relative improvement, the current reading is still in negative territory, with Americans more likely to say the economy is poor than to say it is excellent or good, and more likely to say it is getting worse than to say it is getting better," wrote Frank Newport, Editor-in-Chief at Gallup, in a release. "[But] in general, Americans are more positive about the economy's direction than its current status."
The Romney advertisement also fails to draw direct connections to the highlighted unemployed workers and the Obama administration. The only reference to Obama in the video is when one of the workers expresses his disappointment that Obama hasn't lived up to his campaign rhetoric.
"A lot of people around here when Barack, ya know, was running and all that. Everyone believed, everyone had hope. They all thought 'man, this guy's gonna get something done,'" says Troy Knapp of Webster City, Iowa. "When he is in office now it just seems like nothing's getting done. It seems like it's all talk. You can say whatever you want. But it's not about saying what everyone wants to hear, it's about doing it."
And because it also doesn't explain how a Romney administration would turn things around, there's not much for undecided voters—the key to winning in the White House in 2012—to latch onto.
The Obama campaign, well aware of its weakness on the issue of jobs, is dispatching Vice President Joe Biden to Ohio Wednesday and Thursday to host events talking up the administration's efforts to improve the manufacturing and auto industries.
Rebekah Metzler is a political writer for U.S. News & World Report. You can contact her at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter.