Mitt Romney released a new ad Tuesday that touted the fact that the former Massachusetts governor has been married to the same woman for 42 years and has been a member of the same church his entire life.
The ad is a not-so-subtle jab at Newt Gingrich. But how effective is this line of attack against the thrice-married former speaker of the House? According to an ABC News/Washington Post poll, only 16 percent of likely Iowa voters think Gingrich's marital history is a major reason to vote against him, and leading Iowa social conservative Bob Vander Plaats says Gingrich ought to be forgiven.
Maybe the details of Gingrich's divorces and infidelity will be particularly off-putting to voters, especially if one of Gingrich's ex-wives starts to talk to the press. But Romney's emphasis on his own marriage doesn't seem like it's going to do much damage to Gingrich. One has to wonder what tens of millions of divorced Americans think of the ad.
And who's going to like Romney more because he's been a member of the same church his whole life? A lot of voters have jumped from one church (or religion) to another. That's especially true of evangelical Christians, many of whom left the Catholic church or mainline Protestant churches. At best, Romney's family values ad seems to be a dud.