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A Mitt Romney ad blasting President Barack Obama for the spot that linked the Republican to a woman’s cancer death is the only ad so far this cycle to hurt the president among independent voters, according to a new study.

Romney’s “America Deserves Better” ad — which attacks the president for the pro-Obama super PAC commercial that suggests Romney played a part in a woman’s death from cancer after her husband lost his job and benefits when Bain Capital closed down a steel plant — swung support among independents six points in Romney’s favor, the Vanderbilt/YouGov Ad Rating Project survey shows.

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“The ‘America Deserves Better’ ad seems to score points for Romney,” Vanderbilt professor John Geer, the leader of the Ad Rating Project, said in a statement. “It was the first time among all the ads we have studied where a Romney attack moves down the president’s numbers among pure independents.”

In the poll, Romney held an eight point lead among independents after they watched one ad, “Right Choice,” which hits Obama on welfare. That advantage with independent voters jumped to 14 points after they viewed “America Deserves Better.”

“This development is interesting because conventional wisdom is that Obama cannot be attacked on the personal front because the public likes him. That may still be true, but these data are the first to cast doubt on that assumption,” Geer said.

The “America Deserves Better” spot features a narrator questioning Obama’s character in connection with the super PAC ad.

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