Welcome to the Daily Kos Election ad roundup! Every weekday from now through Election Day, we'll be bringing you summaries of all the day's campaign ads. We'll also be covering notable independent expenditures by third-party groups looking to influence races around the country. Each day, we'll feature a notable ad or expenditure above the fold; below the fold, you'll find writeups for every Senate, gubernatorial, and House ad we can get our hands on. And if you ever spot an ad we might have missed, be sure to let us know.
• GA-Sen, Gov: Here's a major surprise: In addition to backing Republican Gov. Nathan Deal, former Democratic Gov. and Sen. Zell Miller has endorsed Democrat Michelle Nunn, and recorded a commercial for Nunn. In Miller's spot, he extolls Nunn as a bridge builder who can work across party lines.
Miller was once a loyal Democrat, and a prominent supporter of Bill Clinton in 1992. Miller was one of the keynote speakers at that year's Democratic National Convention, where he declared, "We can't all be born rich, handsome and lucky. And that's why we have a Democratic Party." However, over the years Miller has shifted much farther to the right. He last backed a major Democrat in 2002, when he supported his Senate colleague Max Cleland's unsuccessful reelection effort.
Since then, while Miller has still called himself a Democrat, he has exclusively endorsed Republicans. In 2004 as a sitting Democratic senator, Miller gave the keynote address at the Republican National Convention (after-which he memorably challenged MSNBC host Chris Matthews to a duel). Miller has gone on to back Republicans in his home state as well as elsewhere: In 2006, Miller founded "Democrats for Santorum" to help then-Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum's unsuccessful re-election campaign. Needless to say, Miller's days as a genuine Democrat appeared to be long behind him.
It doesn't appear Miller has suddenly lurched to the left again, so it's not shocking he's behind Deal. But his Nunn endorsement is very eyebrow raising. While it's possible Miller is doing it out of respect for her father, former Sen. Sam Nunn, Ed Kilgore at the Washington Monthly has an interesting theory. As governor, Miller was proud of his accomplishments with the HOPE scholarship program, and with his record of appointing women to important posts. Someone like Nunn, who ran a major non-profit, is the type of candidate Miller likely respects and wants to help. It's unclear if Miller will move any votes for Nunn, but he could help give her an opening with the type of white conservatives who have deserted the Democrats in recent cycles but may not be sold on Perdue.
• AK-Sen: Alaska's Energy, America's Values tries to make former state Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan look like an awesome conservative champion. The spot first plays a clip of Ronald Reagan, then a snippet of the late Sen. Ted Stevens, before a longer speech by Sullivan. Personally, I think it makes Sullivan look small compared to Reagan and Stevens.
• KY-Sen: Senate Majority PAC spends $276,000 against Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell. On the other side of the aisle, the Kentucky Opportunity Coalition hits Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes with a total of $182,000 (here and here)
• LA-Sen: Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy once again hits Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu on Obamacare. Patriot Majority spends $411,000 against Cassidy. Their ad, "Betrayed," does not appear to be online yet. Citizens for Conservative Leadership shells out $109,000 for Cassidy.
• NRA: This deep-pocked group has made several small six-figure investments for Republican Senate candidates, chipping in for Rep. Cory Gardner in Colorado; David Perdue in Georgia; Rep. Bill Cassidy in Louisiana; Thom Tillis in North Carolina; and Ed Gillespie in Virginia. The largest of these buys is $203,000 (Gillespie), but expect a lot more where this came from before November.
• KS-Gov: Whoops. Republican Gov. Sam Brownback's new ad is mostly an unremarkable spot, with him telling crowds that really, things are better since he took office. But at the 21-second mark, the ad accidentally takes a turn for the awesome: In the corner there's a guy holding up a sign for Democratic rival Paul Davis.
It's not like Brownback's team had no warning about this. Davis' supporters gathered next door to where Brownback was filming the ad and help up the signs. Brownback's ad team either didn't notice this one guy slipped through, or just decided that they weren't going to get a better take of Brownback being boring than this.
• MA-Gov: Mass Independent Expenditure Political Action Committee, a group funded by the DGA, reserves $3.1 million in the weeks before the election. Republicans have already been spending million in support of likely nominee Charlie Baker, and national Democrats appear to be taking the race seriously.
• ME-Gov: Planned Parenthood Maine Action Fund has committed to spending $500,000 for Democratic Rep. Mike Michaud and Democratic candidates for the legislature. Republicans flipped both legislative chambers in 2010 before Democrats got them back the next cycle.
• NE-Gov: Republican Pete Ricketts promotes his business career. I love how the narrator starts by describing him as "a dad, a businessman, and a leader, not a typical politician," which is one of the more cliched intros to a political ad.
• NY-19: The Environmental Defense Action Fund has never been afraid to support Republicans, and they're shelling out $250,000 for Republican Rep. Chris Gibson, promoting him as a responsible legislator.