ANALYSIS: The Softening Of The GOP Super PACs

PHOTO: Mitt Romney, holds a flyer on as he speaks in Hartford, Conn., April 11, 2012.Steven Senne/AP
Mitt Romney, holds a flyer on as he speaks in Hartford, Conn., April 11, 2012.

After months of relentless attacks on President Obama, the Republican super PACs and independent groups are now going soft. Well, on TV ads at least.

ABC News Political Director Amy Walter notes that Crossroads GPS, the group associated with Karl Rove, released a powerful new ad yesterday featuring the parents of young cancer victim, whom Romney had befriended during his time in the hospital.

And the pro-Romney super PAC, Restore Our Future, went up with a TV spot that featured Iraq veteran Peter Damon talking about Romney visiting him at Walter Reed and the ex-Governor's work "with a charity to build special homes for severely injured veterans." Restore Our Future announced that they plan to spend $17.7 million in 10 states -- all the major battlegrounds plus Michigan -- between October 23 and 29. So, why the personal stuff now?

For the first time in the race, they say, they see an opportunity for Romney to really shrink the gender gap.

Stephen Law, the head of Crossroads, tells ABC, "We've seen a marked shift of women voters toward Romney in the last two weeks, and saw an opportunity to build and deepen that wave." Even so, our own ABC News tracking poll this week showed a 14-point lead for President Obama among women.

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Romney's strong debate performances have given swing suburban women voters a reason to take a second look at the Massachusetts governor. The question now is whether the second look will turn into an actual vote.

Meanwhile, the pro-Obama super PAC, Priorities USA Action, returned to a familiar theme for their closing-week's ad released yesterday: Romney's record at Bain Capital. It features testimonials from workers at Bain-owned businesses like Donnie Box who says, "This was a booming place. And Mitt Romney and Bain Capital turned it into a junkyard," and Loris Huffman, who adds: "I was suddenly 60 years old. I had no healthcare."

It's one last opportunity for the Democratic group, which has been instrumental painting a picture of Romney as a heartless, corporate raider, to underscore that message.