Watch Our Fake Presidential Candidate's First Real Ad

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The story so far: A panel of economists from across the political spectrum came up with a presidential platform they could all support. It was a platform that would doom any real candidate. So we created a fake one.

We tested out one of our key ideas — eliminating the mortgage-interest tax deduction — on a focus group. They hated it.

"Three quarters of your mortgage goes to interest, so if they eliminated that deduction it would be like you were throwing your money out the window every month," someone said.

But getting rid of the deduction would make homes cheaper, the moderator said.

"If housing prices go down lower, this is going to be very dangerous," someone else said.

Not to worry: With the help of Alex Tornero of the Strategy Group for Media we drafted an ad that they promised would help sell the idea.

We showed our focus group the ad, and they liked it. It didn't really convince them. But for a minute, we had them.

We also showed the ad to our panel of economists. They talked about what the fake candidate should have said in the ad. The economists make good points, but their points would never fit into a 30-second ad.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit

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