• CT-Gov: Connecticut Forward, a DGA-affiliated group, is spending a hefty $1.25 million against Tom Foley and the organization isn't messing around in this spot. The ad uses footage of Foley's infamous late July press conference, when he attempted to blame Democratic Gov. Dan Malloy for the closure of a paper goods plants. Foley ended up telling workers that the plant's shuttering was their fault, declaring, (probably to his everlasting regret) "Listen, you have failed, because you have lost these jobs."
The spot uses the incident as a way to portray Foley as a guy who gets rich off his own business failures, while ordinary people pay the price. This is a tactic Barack Obama used extensively against Mitt Romney, and Georgia Democrat Michelle Nunn is currently using against Republican David Perdue in this year's Senate race. However, their opponents didn't supply them with such a devastating sound bite.
Malloy himself is already using the "You have failed" clip in his own spots, and Connecticut voters should expect to see even more on their TV sets between now and November. However, Team Red won't be ceding the airwaves here: The RGA has invested another $250,000 into its allied "Grow Connecticut" group, bringing its total investment here so far to $500,000.
Cotton's new spot shows clips of Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor saying nice things about Obamacare. The ad doesn't even try to scare the viewer with the program's supposed doomsday effects (You know, "Obamacare will cost you your healthcare, raise the retirement age, and ensure that Jar-Jar Binks is the star of every new Star Wars movie). The ad just assumes the viewer hates Obamacare enough already to hate Pryor for supporting it. The Cotton campaign may be correct that just saying "Pryor" and "Obamacare" in the same sentence is enough, but it's still interesting that this type of spot is airing at a time other Republicans are emphasizing the law a lot less.
• NC-Sen: Crossroads GPS portrays Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan of wasteful spending, and accuses her of supporting a radical plan to “raise the retirement age, reduces the home mortgage deduction and increases out-of-pocket medicare costs.” As The News Observer points out, this insane plan is Bowles-Simpson, which Republicans love (except when they don't). The size of the buy is $1.12 million.
• NH-Sen: Lawrence Lessig's Mayday PAC continues to throw good money after bad (or maybe bad money after more bad money), spending another $461,000 on former state Sen. Jim Rubens. Rubens is very much a longshot in the Sept. 9 GOP primary against Scott Brown.
• VA-Sen: Democratic Sen. Mark Warner may be heavily favored against Republican Ed Gillespie, but his allies aren't taking any chances. The pro-Warner "Virginia Progress" sets to work portraying Gillespie as a shady creature of Washington.
• FL-Gov: NextGen Climate once again goes after Republican Rick Scott and portrays him as an ally of sketchy energy interests. Democrat Charlie Crist also is up with a new spot, hitting Scott on education cuts.
• IL-Gov: With nostalgic for the 1990s higher than ever, Republican Bruce Rauner evidently decided to indulge voters by plucking out an issue that was huge two decades ago: term limits. Rauner states that the people of Illinois overwhelmingly want term-limits, but Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn and his legislative allies won't allow them. It's a bit of an odd tactic: I'm sure if you asked pretty much any group of voters they'd say they want term-limits, but nowadays it's hard to see many people basing their vote on it.
• KS-Gov: The RGA does what I never thought they'd do: run an entire ad attacking Democrat Paul Davis without mentioning Obama once! Granted, portraying Davis as a tax-loving liberal is pretty predictable, but still, wow!
• MA-Gov: Democrat Martha Coakley highlights her career as attorney general. The narrator declares at the end "The political insiders, the big money Super PACs, the old boys club, they're all against her," which is kind of an interesting (and almost certainly unintentional) echo of the ads Allyson Schwartz ran in her unsuccessful bid for the Democratic nomination for Pennsylvania governor. Schwartz's long career in politics probably helped make this an unconvincing line, but we'll see if Coakley can make it work better.
• ME-Gov: Two major groups are on the air here. For Team Blue, the League of Conservation Voters' Maine branch spends $400,000 contrasting Democratic Rep. Mike Michaud and Republican Gov. Paul LePage's position on water safety.
On the Republican side, the RGA praises LePage on the state economy. The spot is the second RGA ad to try and portray LePage as blunt and honest, depicting him as a real person rather than a politician. I know this won't happen, but I kind of wish the RGA ran a spot just declaring, "Paul LePage: He's a complete asshole, but he's our complete asshole."
• NM-Gov: Republican Gov. Susana Martinez continues to hit Democrat Gary King, portraying his as someone who wants more taxes and plans cut vital education programs. The second half is all positive, with Martinez stressing bipartisanship.
Usually these ads are pretty formulaic: They briefly accuse their opponent of being a negative lying liar, before going extra-negative on said opponent. This one is a bit different: Raimondo briefly addresses Taveras' charge that she did pension reform to help Wall Street, before describing how her father lost his job. Raimondo then says she saved pensions and helped keep cities out of bankruptcy. She only mentions Taveras once at the beginning.
• TX-Gov: Democrat Wendy Davis once again has a very hard-hitting ad against Republican Greg Abbott. This one features a cancer survivor accusing Abbott of allowing his wealthy friends taking money away from cancer research. Davis' last spot went after Abbott for voting against a rape survivor's lawsuit during his time on the state supreme court.
• IL-10: Crossroads GPS hits Democratic Rep. Brad Schneider, blaming his for Obamacare's supposed Medicare cuts. It's a little weird Crossroads is savaging Obamacare in this blue district: Obama won 58-41 here in 2012. This kind of spot wouldn't be out of place in a red state or district where people are already inclined to district anything with Obama's name on it (see the AR-Sen, it em above for an example) but we'll see if Karl Rove and friends can sell this in much more Obama-friendly turf.
• NY-21: Republican Elise Stefanik is out with her first general election ad, with her doing farm work as she says boring bipartisan-sounding things. At the end Stefanik declares she'll work with anyone, with the cow she's milking suddenly mooing; Stefanik then declares "Well, almost anyone." I'm not sure what she's going for, unless she's subtly declaring she won't work with Democratic Rep. Crow T. Cow of New Jersey.