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Leading off:

IA-Sen: Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley has not had an easy campaign, but hopefully this very effective ad is a sign he's turned the corner. A veteran of the Iowa National Guard describes how his unit had its deployment in Iraq extended, but the soldiers were not paid. He praises Braley for helping fix the problem.

Some of Braley's past spots have been weak: After the primary he launched a very bland attack on Republican Joni Ernst that made it very easy for Ernst and her allies to call Braley sexist. Braley has since gotten a new media consultant. Hopefully, this new spot is a sign Braley's team has gotten things under control. Now if they can find a way to properly go after Ernst's insane views, they'll be golden.

Speaking of Ernst's insane views, the DSCC is starting to bring them up. They spend a lot of time tying Ernst to Sarah Palin, a big Ernst supporter in the primary. The narrator then describes some of Ernst's proposed ideas. It's a decent spot, but you have to wonder if swing voters really care that much about Sarah Palin almost six years after her vice-presidential bid ended. The narrator also quickly cycles through some of Ernst's plans (eliminate the national minimum wage, cut taxes for millionaires, and privatizing Social Security), so it's hard for them to really sink in.

Follow below the fold for an overview of new U.S. Senate, gubernatorial, House and ballot measure ads.


AK-Sen: With the Aug. 19 primary here, Put Alaska First spends $232,000 hitting all three Republican contenders. On the other side of the aisle, Crossroads GPS reserves $1.25 million in TV time for the next few weeks.

CO-Sen: AFSCME spends another $170,000 on its spot against Republican Rep. Cory Gardner.

KY-Sen: Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes portrays Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell as an out-of-touch rich guy.

NC-Sen: Democrats have been heavily attacking Republican Thom Tillis on education, and Tillis' allies have finally responded. A group called Carolina Rising praises Tillis for helping increase teacher pay. The spot, running for $1.5 million, also praises Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, who is not up for re-election until 2016.

Tillis, for his part, is out with his first spot, touting how hard he's worked, stating the Senate could use more people who "had to sweat for a living." The DSCC spends $483,000 against Tillis.


AR-Gov: Republican Asa Hutchinson calls for computer science classes in high schools. The spot features his granddaughter, who helps him sell what could have been a dry subject.

CT-Gov: Grow Connecticut, a group created by Republican Tom Foley's campaign-finance law firm, hits Democratic Gov. Dan Malloy with $200,000.

FL-Gov: Democrat Charlie Crist portrays Republican Gov. Rick Scott as corrupt to the core.

NM-Gov: Republican Gov. Susana Martinez and Democratic rival Gary King each have a new spot. The narrator in the Martinez spot goes after King on taxes, while touting Martinez as someone who balanced the budget without raising taxes. King emphasizes education and promises to undo Martinez's cuts.


CA-07: Democratic Rep. Ami Bera uses his first ad to emphasize how he gave up his pay during the shutdown and returned his congressional pension.

FL-02: Democrat Gwen Graham calls for bipartisanship to help pass commonsense policies.

FL-18: Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy describes how he rejected congressional perks. Murphy's jogging during the ad, which is certainly an effective way to combat weight gain on the campaign trail.

GA-12: Both party committees are going up here. The NRCC spends $190,000 against Democratic Rep. John Barrow, likely in support of this ad. The DCCC spends $101,000 hitting Republican Rick Allen in return.

MA-06: Democrat Seth Moulton goes straight at primary opponent Rep. John Tierney, portraying the incumbent as an ethically dubious do-nothing congressman.

MI-01: Republican Rep. Dan Benishek argues that today's kids deserve the opportunities he had growing up.

NV-03: Republican Rep. Joe Heck uses his first spot to tout basically everything about his life other than the job he wants voters to re-elect him to.

WV-02: Democrat Nick Casey is up with his first spot. It's another one of those "Look how cheap this guy is, he's fiscally responsible!" ads, but it's still pretty cute. It features Casey's family's exasperation with how Casey won't buy a new car and even resoled his shoes four times.


Or Ballot: Organizers behind Oregon's ballot measure to legalize marijuana aren't going to make the same mistakes their predecessors did last cycle. In 2012, a similar measure failed by a narrow 53-47 margin, even though almost no money was behind the effort. This time, weed legalization advocates say they're planning to spend at least $2.3 million promoting their campaign, and they say they're going to launch an ad this week featuring Richard Harris, a retired head of the state's addictions and mental health division. The video is a weird 54 seconds long, though, and isn't crisply edited (Harris actually says "um" when introducing himself), so hopefully they have something more professional in the works. (David Nir)

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 02:38 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (10+ / 0-)

    Senior Elections Writer, Daily Kos. 24, male, CA-18 (home and voting there), LA-02 (resident). Formerly known as Darth Jeff.

    by Jeff Singer on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 02:38:39 PM PDT

  •  Funny, I was just thinking they're not going (0+ / 0-)

    to wake up from Ferguson until they lose Harkin's seat to Ernst.  

    As for the DSCC, they also don't seem to have a clue what might actually be of interest to Iowans who are not dumb enough to be scared by Palin but just might be in the mood to send a message to a party that seems to be taking states like Iowa for granted.

  •  I like Crist's and Hutchinson's ad. (6+ / 0-)

    Crist's ad actually provides specifics, and has damning clips of Scott doing the things he's accused of doing, making it much more believable as an attack.

    Hutchinson's ad I also think is surprisingly substantive for a 30 second ad, pinpointing a specific Education policy, rather than simply using education related buzzwords (I also happen to agree that programming is an important part of a 21st century curriculum).

    I'm beginning to wonder how effective attacks like 'privatize Medicaid', 'cut taxes for the rich' or 'too extreme' are - and likewise with buzzwords like 'middle class', 'education' and 'bipartisan'. They may be important points, but they're so overused, even a little bit of explanation or expansion on the specifics would make them more memorable and effective. Also having more imaginative messaging and policy messages doesn't harm either.

    One of the reasons why I think Mark Begich's ad team is one of the best out there is because he manages to avoid the cliches, be imaginative, and actually have substance to his ads.

    Political views TBD. Interested in elections.

    by Possible Liberal on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 03:05:34 PM PDT

    •  Yeah, it's not easy (0+ / 0-)

      you want to cut through the usual clutter without selling yourself short.

      “The universe is big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles.” -The Doctor

      by KingofSpades on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 04:33:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The guy who does Begich's ads (0+ / 0-)

      also had Jersey City Mayor-to-be Steve Fulop swim across the Hudson River to Jersey City for an ad.

      “The universe is big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles.” -The Doctor

      by KingofSpades on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 04:39:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Crossroads up with IA ad that is rather silly (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    as it makes false equivalencies with Braley not attending full committee hearings all the time:

    “The universe is big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles.” -The Doctor

    by KingofSpades on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 04:46:00 PM PDT

    •  Kind of a wasted ad, I think (0+ / 0-)

      especially since it doesn't hit him as effectively as a previous one.

      “The universe is big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles.” -The Doctor

      by KingofSpades on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 04:48:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank god (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, Stude Dude, askew

    Braley's lackluster campaign has really put a scare into me.  He wins or we get to enjoy the shenanigans of Senator Ernst, possibly for decades to come.  

    When truth is only a matter of opinion, advantage goes to the liars.

    by Sun dog on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 06:03:38 PM PDT

  •  Advertising isn't easy, but some people ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    couldn't sell Ice in the Sahara.

    As the old cliché goes "You don't sell the steak, you sell the sizzle." Unfortunately too many people think that when it comes to politics, selling the sizzle is immoral.

  •  How about progressive H candidates like NY-23's (0+ / 0-)

    Martha Robertson, who has a competitive race to pick up a seat that the GOP only won by about 3 points last time, when DCCC stayed out?  

    D-trip is in this time, and previous D candidate Nate Shinagawa is her campaign manager.

    Robertson is progressive down the line and an anti-fracking leader, a very hot issue in her district, which should assure her an army of enthusiastic volunteers.  

    In contrast, the first 4 H races listed are all conservadems whose main value is to vote for Pelosi for Speaker.

    There's no such thing as a free market!

    by Albanius on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 06:41:32 PM PDT

  •  Where the majority of the $ should go (0+ / 0-)

    Democrats are at risk of losing the U.S. Senate to the republicans and because of the implications in that, the majority of the $ from the DSCC and most other donations nationwide should go to what is called "at risk" democratic senators.

    It's just what should happen.  I was elated to see that the DSCC is putting so much money into Kay Hagan's campaign in North Carolina because that state is one of the most dangerous for democrats this November as Hagan has aligned herself with many of Obama's unpopular policies in addition to the state moving more and more red.  

    This needs to happen in other such contests where democrats are weak or need the financial support.

  •  That is not how Braley is going to win (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I know these kinds of ads are popular with a constitutent telling an emotional story and the candidate visibly absent with only the approval narration at the end. Its also completely boring and unmemorable. Braley is barely tied with an opponent of dubious abilities that keeps the crazy meter publicly on 11 while he struggles to make any impression whatsover on the electorate. This is a losers game to be playing so late in the race when they are making the last turn before the home stretch. Ernst is so obviously vulnerable to reasoned ridicule and Braley just can't seem to force himself to beat her up like she so richly deserves. His voters are waiting to hear this from him and if they don't they will stay on the sidelines in November. They want a little energy and inspiration from him and he just doesn't seem to have much affinity for that stuff. Even if there is some strategy to have 3rd party ads that will beat up on Ernst so Braley can keep his hands clean, the base likes to see some visible public fight from the candidate themselves. So far this is probably the weakest Democratic campaign for a competitive seat in the entire Senate this cycle and it needs a giant kick in the rear end if its going to start turning things around.

    Patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings. Steal a little and they throw you in jail. Steal a lot and they make you king.... Dylan

    by bywaterbob on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 09:04:36 PM PDT

    •  and, "supporting" ads have really sucked (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      for Braley.  

      I was at the Iowa State Fair and both there and on social media AND even commercial broadcasts, there have been a slough of supposed anti-Ernst ads that are totally political malpractice.   Campaign stickers, and media buys both that show a nice big picture of Mr. Ernst, and the huge letters JONI followed with tiny hidden print saying things like in the pocket of big oil.  or the like.

      People..      Pull your head out of your ass.  Casual observers only see JONI and that smiling face.  Your negative ad is only raising her positive voter recognition.  

      S T U P I D!!!    I have tried messaging the allied PACs and with no response.   THis has me pissed to the max, because I cannot begin to imagine Joni Ernst as a Senator, let alone one to follow Senator Harkin.

      IF the Braley campaign is seeing this, WAKE UP!  Dont blow this for Iowa and for the nation.  Unless I see positive action, it is hard for me to send contributions to an effort that is this weak.   And yes, I know the rules about non-coordination of campaigns and outside advocacy groups.   THey need to get their collective asses in gear as well.  

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