Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 23, 2014

Daily Ad Track

In our unscientific ad-track survey from today, we caught almost no new advertisements that could be classified as positive. Lots of cookie-cutter negative ads are surfacing, slamming the other campaign over Medicare, Congressional pay raises and information that appears culled from opposition research. Grainy footage and clipped out-of-context sound bites are also increasingly common.

Here’s what cut through the clutter:

Florida 18

Businessman Patrick Murphy’s (D) campaign is up with a new ad that directly responds to an attack ad from Rep. Allen West (R) that has attracted about 231,000 views on YouTube since it was posted Friday. The Murphy camp is putting $175,000 behind it in the Palm Beach market.

New Hampshire 1

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is up with a new ad with a montage of testimonials criticizing Rep. Frank Guinta (R) on women’s issues. We’ve seen several Democratic ads along these lines. The rub? The testimonials speaking are all from very macho looking men — firefighters and guys with facial hair. The committee has $175,000 behind this ad for the next week in support of former Rep. Carol Shea-Porter’s (D) comeback bid.

Michigan 1

And the newest submission for the trend of candidate Doppelgangers behaving insanely is a new House Majority PAC ad that features an actor portraying Rep. Dan Benishek (R) disruptively dancing in a restaurant. House Majority PAC is a liberal super PAC with the mission to support Democratic Congressional campaigns. In this instance, the ad is in support of former state Rep. Gary McDowell and is part of a larger $1.2 million national ad buy from House Majority PAC.

New York 18

The Service Employee International Union is up with a new spot that seeks to tie Rep. Nan Hayworth (R) to GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.). Republicans used the tactic to devastating effect in 2010 with then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) The SEIU ad will run on cable television in the New York media market. Hayworth is in a race against attorney Sean Patrick Maloney (D).

The DCCC released at least two ads today similarly seeking to tie House candidates to national Republican figures. Cameos were made by Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, Speaker John Boehner (Ohio) and Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.).

Indiana Senate

The Club for Growth is making a similar case against Democratic candidates. The conservative group seeks to tie Senate candidates to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), along with President Barack Obama. One of the ads will air in Indiana in support of state Treasurer Richard Mourdock’s (R) tossup race against Rep. Joe Donnelly (D).

A similar ad is airing against former Surgeon General Richard Carmona in his Arizona Senate race against Rep. Jeff Flake (R). The club is putting $500,000 behind each ad.

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