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Leading off:

AR-Sen: Well, this is different: A vulnerable red state Democrat is running an ad in support of Obamacare! Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor's spot is running for a "six figure buy" and features his father, former Gov. and Sen. David Pryor. The elder Pryor describes how Mark almost died of cancer: While he pulled through, the family ran into problems after the insurance company didn't want to pay for the life-saving procedure. Sen. Pryor then declares, "No one should be fighting an insurance company while you're fighting for your life. That's why I helped pass a law that prevents insurance companies from canceling your policy if you get sick, or deny coverage for preexisting conditions." While the ad doesn't say that this law is Obamacare, Pryor is clearly taking the most popular parts of the bill and running on them.

Pryor's spot comes at an interesting time in the campaign season. A piece in Bloomberg describes something we've been seeing in our ad roundups: Republicans are using Obamacare far less in their campaign commercials than they were a few months ago. Jonathan Bernstein of Bloomberg View helps explain why: Health care as a campaign issue is becoming far less important to voters, likely as memories of the Obamacare launch fade.

Bernstein also describes how Republicans are in a more awkward position when it comes to the law than they used to be. In 2010 and 2012 before the major parts of the program kicked in, it was easy for Team Red to call for its full repeal. However, it's becoming clear to voters and to Republican politicians that Obamacare is here to stay. While the GOP may hit Democrats for voting for it in the first place and attack some of the more unpopular aspects of the bill, they can't convincingly argue that they'll just repeal the program and be done with it. Republicans in tough races are having to take more nuanced positions; as Bernstein puts it, "They still almost all say they support repeal, but they weasel around the idea that various ACA programs and benefits will be included in that supposed repeal."

By no means is Obamacare dead as an issue. In just the last few days Crossroads GPS ran ads against Sen. Mark Udall in Colorado and CA-07 Rep. Ami Bera completely focused on Obamacare. Pryor's Republican rival, Rep. Tom Cotton, has also been hitting him on the bill. Still, it's becoming apparent that this cycle will not be a straight-up referendum on Obamacare that some people may have predicted just a few months ago. Ads like Pryor's are also a sign that while red state Democrats may still be unwilling to outright express support for the program, they are finding ways to turn it into a positive.

Follow below the fold for more ads.


AK-Sen: That didn't take long. Put Alaska First hits newly minted Republican nominee Dan Sullivan, describing him as someone who supports a mine that would hurt fishermen. The group is spending $490,000 here.

AR-Sen: The NRSC is up with a new negative spot against Democratic Sen.. Mark Pryor. Republican Rep. Tom Cotton also has two new ads (here and here) hitting Pryor on the retirement age and immigration.

IA-Sen: The DSCC spends another $561,000 against Republican Joni Ernst.

KY-Sen: The Kentucky Opportunity Coalition shells out $644,000 against Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, likely as part of these two recent ads.

LA-Sen: Americans for Prosperity goes after Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu.

NC-Sen: The NRSC has reserved $1.2 million for Sept. 2 through Sept. 22 in support of Republican Thom Tillis.


AR-Gov: Jobs and Opportunity, a DGA-backed group, accuses Republican Asa Hutchinson of claiming illegal tax credits on multiple homes and lying about it.

CO-Gov: The RGA goes after Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, featuring clips of Hickenlooper's recent pool game with President Obama as a way to portray Hickenlooper as a nice guy who can't lead.

FL-Gov: We've always wondered: Has a major American political campaign ever run a campaign ad in a language other than English or Spanish? We're not sure if anyone's run a TV ad like this yet, but Republican Gov. Rick Scott has a minute-long radio ad in Creole. As the Miami Herald points out, there aren't too many Creole-speaking voters in the state; the largest community is around Miami and is heavily Democratic. However, Scott certainly has the money to target this small group of persuadable voters in what is expected to be a tight race.

IL-Gov: Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn hits Republican Bruce Rauner on outsourcing and for his shell accounts in the Cayman Islands.

ME-Gov: Independent Elliot Cutler is out with his first spot, emphasizing his background on job creation.

MI-Gov: Michigan Nurses has a week-old spot in support of Democrat Mark Schauer, contrasting him with Republican Gov. Rick Snyder.

OK-Gov: Democratic state Rep. Joe Dorman has released his first ad of the campaign, and he goes right at one of Republican Gov. Mary Fallin's sorest spots: education. Dorman narrates the ad and bluntly says that Fallin has "flip-flopped and failed on education," while showing a still photo of a large demonstration at the state capital with the caption, "30,000 Oklahomans protest Fallin's policies." The "flip-flop" refers to Fallin's about-face on Common Core, which she strongly supported before signing a bill to repeal the standards earlier this year. Fallin's insufficient hostility to the program angered conservatives, and Dorman is no doubt trying to stir up those feelings—a smart move, because he'll need plenty of GOP votes to have a prayer.

The ad comes at an interesting time in the race. Fallin has recently seen some surprisingly weak poll numbers, and now her fundraising's looking soft, too: Between June 25 and Aug. 14, Dorman managed to outraise her, $267,000 to $240,000. Fallin still has far more cash on hand, $1.1 million to $142,000, but she's outspent Dorman more than 3-to-1 in a race that ought to be a dead lock for the GOP yet somehow isn't quite looking that way. (David Nir)

RI-Gov: Say what you will about Democratic Treasurer Gina Raimondo, but her ads remain very good. Raimondo has a spot full of nostalgic snippets of Narragansett Beer commercials, before describing how she helped bring the local company back to Rhode Island and created over 1,000 jobs. She then uses it to pivot to her broader jobs plan.

On the Republican side, Ken Block calls for ending wasteful practices and spending in state government. At the end the ad features Block throwing state time sheets on the ground in slow motion, which doesn't look strange at all.

WI-Gov: Greater Wisconsin PAC hits Republican Gov. Scott Walker on the state's weak job growth.


AZ-01: Andy Tobin was supposed to be one of the top Republican House recruits this cycle. As the speaker of Arizona's state House, he had a prominent position from which to launch a campaign against Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, one of the most vulnerable Democrats in Congress, given that her district voted for Mitt Romney by a 50-48 margin.

But Tobin's long struggled just to keep his head above water in the GOP primary, despite the fact that one of his opponents is a first-time candidate who claimed that Democrats perpetrated "99 percent" of mass shootings and the other is a freshman legislator who thought that a bus of YMCA campers that drove alongside an anti-immigration protest was actually full of undocumented child immigrants.

Yet both of those contenders—wealthy rancher Gary Kiehne and state Rep. Adam Kwasman—have been on the air for some time, while Tobin, whose fundraising has been lousy, amazingly didn't have any ads on TV until this week. Actually, Tobin still isn't running any ads of his own. Rather, he's relying on some very generic spots from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a super PAC called Preserve America's Future (which is spending just $25,000). The primary is Tuesday!

Tobin may still somehow pull it off, though, if a new independent poll from Remington Research is on the mark. Tobin barely edges Kwasman, 30-29, with Kiehne at 21, so he's not out of it, but that's hardly the kind of place a one-time frontrunner wants to find himself in. We also don't have any other polling here, so it's very possible that the race has been breaking against Tobin for a while now. If so, then this may just be a high-water mark for him, something that would make Democrats quite happy indeed.

Kirkpatrick herself is up with a radio ad that is largely in Navajo. Unlike the Rick Scott Creole language radio ad (see above), Kirkpatrick herself is doing the talking here. The district has a large Navajo voting block. (David Nir & Jeff Singer)

GA-12: The DCCC hits Republican Rick Allen's business career, spending at least $139,000 here. Allen himself goes completely after Obama, not mentioning Democratic Rep. John Barrow.

IA-03: Democrat Staci Appel has a positive spot.

IN-02: Democrat Joe Bock is up with his first spot in what looks like a very uphill climb against Republican Rep. Jackie Walorski. Bock describes his work in crisis zones all around the world, before declaring, "The crisis is here at home," and that he's ready to get to work.

MA-06: Vote Vets recently ran a spot for Democrat Seth Moulton, and we now have the size of the buy: a cool $399,000 (because $400,000 would just be excessive).

MI-01: Democrat Jerry Cannon is out with his first ad, describing his career in the military and as a sheriff before declaring he's ready to serve again.

NH-01: American Unity PAC, a group funded by hedge-fund manager Paul Singer (no relation to me) to help Republican supporters of same-sex marriage, goes up for Republican Dan Innis. The spot hits both Innis' primary rival, former Rep. Frank Guinta, and Democratic incumbent Carol Shea-Porter, before portraying Innis as a better choice.

NJ-03: Republican Tom MacArthur portrays Democratic rival Aimee Belgard as dishonest, while the DCCC spends $111,000 hitting MacArthur.

NY-11: Democrat Domenic Recchia emphasizes his ties to both parts of the district, Brooklyn and Staten Island. Recchia holds a city council seat in Brooklyn, which is a much smaller presence in the district, and it makes sense that he's trying to establish his Staten Island bona fides. The DCCC is also out with another $106,000 against Republican Rep. Michael Grimm. One group you won't see coming to Grimm's aid anytime soon is his PAC, Grimm PAC: The committee reported raising a monster $0.01 in July.

VA-02: Democrat Suzanne Patrick is out with her first spot, touting her family's long military service and her desire to bring people together to get the country back on track.

WV-03: Democratic Rep. Nick Rahall goes positive on coal, while hitting Republican Evan Jenkins on mine safety.

Center Forward: Center Forward spends a combined $738,000 in five races, and their choices are a bit unusual. They have TV spots for Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor, North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan, FL-18 Rep. Patrick Murphy, IL-10 Rep. Brad Schneider, and WV-03 Rep. Nick Rahall, all Democrats in targeted races. However, they also go on the air for Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, who is expected to coast to re-election. They also are running an ad for Indiana Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly, who isn't up until 2018.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 03:09 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (14+ / 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 Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 03:09:09 PM PDT

  •  LOL @ Recchia ad (4+ / 0-)

    For the first half all I could think about was 'how the fuck can he afford to go over the Verrazano's that many times?'  Then he hits us with how he wants to lower the tolls and slams his wallet on the counter and says he doesn't want to go broke either.  Haha.  Good ad.  

    This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

    by DisNoir36 on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 03:33:55 PM PDT

    •  At least the SI Ferry is free (0+ / 0-)

      but that only goes to Lower Manhattan.  

      “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 Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 05:38:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great ad from Pryor (11+ / 0-)

    Arkansas' healthcare exchange has been a huge success and I'm glad he isn't running away from it. (even if he doesn't use the term "Obamacare," and why should he? the law isn't called that)

    Quite a difference from how Blanche Lincoln embarrassed herself by pretending not to be a Democrat and losing by nearly 20 points.

    •  The retirement age add from Cotton against (0+ / 0-)

      Pryor, though, is a good one. Hit home with me anyway.

      The only hawk I like is the kind that has feathers. My birding blogs: and

      by cany on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 07:02:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'd like more context (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Because technically raising the age would extend the solvency of Social Security but it would be at the expense of benefit cuts.  That's what Pryor was saying in the clip from 2011.  I'm just not sure if he was advocating for that or something else since the clip was cut.  

        The ad could just be another smear job taking a comment out of context.  

        This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

        by DisNoir36 on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 08:13:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It could be. But remember, I don't track him and (0+ / 0-)

          likely a lot of low info voters in your state don't either. All I was suggesting is that on its face, the add worked for me. YMMV. It's probably all a bunch of bullshit, but it didn't come across that way. Ads are so dishonest sometimes.

          The only hawk I like is the kind that has feathers. My birding blogs: and

          by cany on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 08:47:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Very true (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            But that's something that could easily be disproved.  Plus it's not like Cotton doesn't advocate for the same exact thing.  I'm not sure why Cotton would even go there unless it was to flat out lie about his position and Pryors.  Cotton is on the record voting for Ryan's budget.    

            This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

            by DisNoir36 on Thu Aug 21, 2014 at 05:31:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  But see, a low info voter (or someone like me (0+ / 0-)

              not from the state, even) would not know Cotton voted for Ryan's budget. I looked at all the adds posted in this diary and the most compelling one was this one (for me). I'm merely suggesting that if it's appealing to me, it's probably appealing to other low info voters.

              The only hawk I like is the kind that has feathers. My birding blogs: and

              by cany on Thu Aug 21, 2014 at 08:51:35 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, and the use of his dad is great. (0+ / 0-)

      “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 Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 11:50:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hate to say this (0+ / 0-)

    but 90% of the viewers of this ad have no idea that the policy issues he voted for are part of the ACA. Therefore, to the voters this ad has nothing to do with the ACA/Obamacare so it really isn't Pryor defying beltway wisdom.

    •  Maybe true (but 90% seems a bit high). (4+ / 0-)

      Why should Pryor frame it in any other way? This ad hits the nail on the head for a Red state. It's not about Obama or Gubmint taking over HC, it's about getting people the care they need, and about insurance companies not getting to be a roadblock to that happening.

      And screw beltway wisdom, but I get your point. This will be a long fight, but it's one we look like we are going to win.

      I ride the wild horse .

      by BelgianBastard on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 06:24:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  agreed. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I guess my beef is with so many progressives and progressive bloggers inflating the meaning and significance of this type of ad.
        I think we will win this. I also think history will show that the rollout, starting the day after the bill was signed into law, was the poorest in many generations in terms of educating the public about a major law . I suspect the President and his team believed that the public would automatically support such a significant advance in American healthcare.
        They took their eye off the ball as evidenced by the impact Palin's tweet on death panels had, and still has.

        •  Obama may have underestimated... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          the rabid outrage of the right, and ok, in hindsight, that seems normal. But the 2010 Tea party insanity didn't happen until after the law was passed. Sure, today's Reprehensible party would be expected to deny funding for anything, including educating folks how not to die, and why it is a good thing not to die a needless death. But that wasn't clear when various things that Obama or congressional Democrats are blamed for were decided in 2009.

          It was completely irresponsible of the Goober On People to refuse funding an information campaign about a major new government program. It is in fact unprecedented. It's a cliche that this isn't your father's Republican Party, but it's not Reagan's, HW's or W's party either. Don't take my word for it; Jeb ffin' Bush has publicly said the same thing. A Vulture capitalist, for Pete's sakes, had to slog it out for months against a full clown car of totally hollow candidates with nothing to offer but various strands of total batshittery. I repeat, he struggled. He struggled to prove he was inhumane enough. A vulture capitalist struggling to prove he was inhumane enough for Republicans: both primary voters and elected representatives.

          So Obama was supposed to ESP something that had, and has, caught the GOP establishment offguard, and then somehow magically convince all the Dems in the Senate and almost all Dems in the House that his premonition was true?

          Yeah, that might have happened. Right after Newt bought me a big ring at Tiffany's.

          I ride the wild horse .

          by BelgianBastard on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 08:34:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Way to go Mark! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Not usually a fan, although I am one of the one's that defends bluedogs in Red states againist people who think being Elizabeth Warren-like is what it takes to get elected in GA, KY or LA.

    Still, extremely happy about this: I think it speaks well of Pryor, will be good for him too but best of all it's more writing on the wall that Obamacare/PPACA isn't going away! YAY!

    I ride the wild horse .

    by BelgianBastard on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 06:08:53 PM PDT

  •  Dems can't beat Repubs by running right (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, cocinero

    Pryor finally gets it. Let's hope more do. It's our best bet.

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 06:15:08 PM PDT

  •  Nice to see Cutler still Ralphing things up for... (3+ / 0-)

    Nice to see Cutler still Ralphing things up for us in Maine. Jackass.

  •  Dems have no courage. (0+ / 0-)

    He doesn't even mention the law by name.

    •  Ok, smart guy, and why should he? (6+ / 0-)

      It get's him nothing, how many Arkansans know what the PPACA is? Calling it Obamacare definitely wouldn't help.

      Plus this way his opponent has to address the specific points he mentioned. Much better for him.

      Being courageous does not mean being stupid.

      I ride the wild horse .

      by BelgianBastard on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 06:31:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Smart guy, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        You need to be willing to standup for what you believe in and start associating positive things with "Obamacare" so that it is no longer a foul word. Avoiding it is cowardice and it does give the appearance, atleast to me, that he's ashamed of his vote. Dems should be trying to inform people and debunk alot of the negative things associated with their policies instead of running from it. When they duck and hide, they give validity to the attacks.

        IMO, saying that you passed "a law" doesn't do anything for him. I was going to vote for Pryor in order to help keep the Senate blue, but this guy really isn't a good Dem candidate. He opposes minimum wage increase because he's scared of Walmart and now he won't even mention the ACA. He's a coward, period. We hear these nuts on the right pushing their extremism so hard but Dems barely murmur about their ideas even when an overwhelming majority agree with them.

        •  Ok, wait, I was probably... (0+ / 0-)

          well not probably, I was just wrong to reply the way I did. I shouldn't have used the words 'smart guy', because they were meant in an adversarial way. I'm sorry.

          But I still agree with most of what you say. You are totally right about the minimum wage. It's the thing I dislike most about Pryor. But let's be realistic about minimum wages; even in Seatac, a blue part of a blue state, and with plenty of exemptions, the $15 initiative barely passed. Seriously, if that vote was my ass, I would be lucky to be able to sit without pain.

          And I really hope you, me and others can raise the minimum wage in as many places as we can, but that will, sometimes at least, result in less support in some parts, not more. I can grind my teeth and you can shout, and one or both of us can achieve something, but it won't succeed through some kind of purity program. And undermining candidates who are 10, 20 times better than their opponents because the electorate is what it is, well I'm not onboard for that...

          And as for Pryor being a coward, he isn't. He could have refused to run, or even resigned etc (pull a Tester). He could easily make more money for him in the private sector. A coward is someone who selfishly hides out of fear. It's not a word that should be banded about. It's the centenary of WWI, and where I live, there are much to many wargraves. But hundreds of men who weren't cowards were branded as such and the summarily executed.

          I agree with what you want, and it's no fun telling you this, but I think you are doing it a bit wrong. Just make a few adjustments.

          I ride the wild horse .

          by BelgianBastard on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 09:16:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  dems should also tie affordable care to medicare (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, cocinero

    and social security, and stress that Republicans wish to repeal all three programs.  make the bastards lie and deny.

  •  Crossroads GPS (Karl Rove) thinks Obamacare (0+ / 0-)

    is a winning issue for them. Isn't Rove the same guy who thought Mitt Romney was a sure winner?

  •  People support keeping Obamacare and working (0+ / 0-)

    to improve the law. They do not support repeal and replace with something different. Joni Ernst wants to completely repeal the ACA and replace it with "free-market alternatives." We've seen how the free market works for health care. That's what we had before the ACA was passed. I think Ernst and other "repeal and replace" candidates are vulnerable on health care.

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