Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 20, 2014

Daily Ad Track

A “great wall” of ads continues to slam voters in competitive districts, especially on the topic of China.

But the biggest news today in political ads is that Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) is no longer keeping her powder dry in the Missouri Senate race. She went right for the jugular with a new statewide television ad almost as soon as it was certain Rep. Todd Akin (R) was her general election opponent. On the House front, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has canceled a week of airtime in Florida’s 18th district, where Rep. Allen West (R) is seeking re-election. Officials said they were shifting resources to other races because House Majority PAC, a Democratic super PAC, has reserved ad time in West’s district. House Majority PAC is also shifting resources, as the House battleground map continues to come into sharper focus.

Here are the other best TV ads and trends we saw today:

Parents of the Deceased

Two Senate campaigns put up ads offering testimonials from the parents of someone who is deceased. In each, the parent vouched for the character of the candidate.

Ohio Senate

A father of a deceased young man described the work Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) did to increase bus safety. The ad is on Ohio airwaves, which includes some of the most saturated markets in the country.

Virginia Senate

A mother described former Sen. George Allen’s (R) sympathetic reaction to the death of her son, who died was serving in the Marine Corps in Iraq. Ad spending is saturating Virginia airwaves, and this new ad is part of ongoing statewide ad buys.

China, China, China

At least there is one thing the two parties can agree on — that China is an issue to use against the other side. It is a way to attack one’s opponent on the outsourcing and deficit fronts. China was similarly prominent in 2010 general election ads. China has been raised as an issue in the presidential campaign as well.

Nevada Senate

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee used China to hammer Sen. Dean Heller (R) over outsourcing in a Nevada Senate ad. Interestingly, leading Nevada political reporter Jon Ralston points out that part of the ad “is taken from a Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid video of a delegation meeting in 2009.” The Las Vegas television market is one of the most highly saturated in the country this cycle.

New York’s 27

House Majority PAC also took the outsourcing-to-China cue in an ad attacking former Erie County Executive Chris Collins (R).

Georgia’s 12th

Republicans were all over China on Monday. The National Republican Congressional Committe made the point that Rep. John Barrow (D) voted to send jobs to China by way of the 2009 economic stimulus. In 2010, ABC’s Jonathan Karl looked at similar ads and wrote, “There’s a grain of truth to it, but the charge is misleading.” The committee has $126,000 behind the ad.

North Carolina’s 8th

The NRCC made the same charge against Rep. Larry Kissell (R). The committee has $400,000 behind the ad.

Kyle Trygstad and Niels Lesniewski contributed to this report. 

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