In 1976, a housewife from New York, Ellen McCormack ran for President. In 18 states, her name appeared on primary election ballots as a Democrat. Her platform was strictly based on a pro-life approach to the issue of abortion. Even though she did not win any primaries, McCormack’s campaign was successful enough to have raised money for federal matching funds and for Secret Service protection. The extra campaign dollars also allowed for the creation of television spots that would promote McCormack’s pro-life beliefs.
Would a commercial, such as this one, work in today’s political climate?
In this week’s installment of “Evaluating the Ads”, we’ll take a look at two ads from the race for Governor of Illinois. The incumbent, Democrat Pat Quinn is looking for a second full term of office. His opponent, Republican Bruce Rauner, is trying to unseat Quinn. In both of the ads that you are about to see, Quinn and Rauner present both a negative and a positive message in 30 seconds.
The midterm elections are less than 30 days away. Control of the United States Senate and House of Representatives hangs in the balance. The Democratic Party controls the United States Senate with 53 members. The Republican Party has 45. There are two Independents in the Senate who caucus, or work with, the Democrats. In order to win the Senate, the Republican Party needs a net gain of six Senate seats this November. The current makeup of the House of Representatives favors the Republican Party as they 233 seats to the Democrats, 199. In order for the Democrats to retake the House, they would need a net gain of 17 seats.
This week’s “Evaluating the Ads” post focuses on two ads from two different United States Senate races in two states. The common theme in each ad is that each candidate running receives what they hope is an important endorsement that will put them over the top in their respective race. The first ad is for former United States Senator Scott Brown (R). He was a Senator from Massachusetts, but now is running in New Hampshire. His endorsement is from former Presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The second ad is for Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) who is running in the state of Kentucky. Her endorsement comes from former President Bill Clinton
Here is the Brown ad.
Here is the Grimes ad.
Which ad do you believe is more effective? Do you believe that endorsements make a difference?
There is a lot going on here in this week’s “Evaluating the Ads” post. For some perspective on the Congressional race in the 12th District of Illinois between first term Congressman Bill Enyart (D) and Illinois State Representative Mike Bost (R), please watch this video on an outburst Rep. Bost made in 2012 regarding the rules set forth by Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.
Fast forward to 2014. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is running this ad targeting Bost.
Here is the response by Bost.
Please notice the difference in the two ads. An ad that was paid for by the candidate’s team has to say, “I approve this message.” This was a provision from the Bipartisan Campaign Act (McCain-Feingold) of 2002. Any organization outside of a political campaign must declare that they are not affiliated with a campaign team. Therefore, the ad that was run against Bost was not run by the Enyart campaign. Bost’s ad was paid for by the Bost campaign.
If you were a voter in this race, how would you rate each ad? Do you believe the DCCC’s ad is effective? Do you believe Bost’s response was a strong one?
In this week’s installment of “Evaluating Campaign Ads”, we travel to North Carolina for a hotly contested United States Senate seat. The incumbent is Democrat Kay Hagan. Her opponent is Republican Thom Tillis. He is North Carolina’s House Speaker.
Senator Hagan’s ad is up first.
Who is this ad aimed at? Does this ad appeal to you?
Here is Speaker Tillis’s ad.
Is this an effective way of utilizing contrasting data in an ad?
For more insight into the race, here is a recent Elon Poll.
It is an election year. As mentioned in a previous post, the House and Senate are up for grabs. Below is a graph from the United States Census website. (The address for the site is located at the bottom of the graph.)
What you have are five different lines representing five age groups. You will also see that black and white voters are separated from each other. If any of the age group lines rises above the “0” demarcation, then that means that there was a net positive percentage for black voters in a particular age group for that one Congressional election year. For instance, 1986 showed a net positive for black voters over white voters in the 18-24 age group. The same held true in 2002 and 2010. With some exceptions, all age groups saw a higher net percentage for white voters in most Congressional years.
Since this is a midterm election, what do you suspect the trend to be in 2014 in regards to black and white voters? Will the net percentages stay the same or will they be different this time around? Remember, the graph only looks at the years where a Presidential election did not occur.
There is a three person race in Kansas involving US Senator Pat Roberts (R), Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor (D), and businessman Greg Orman (I). Roberts has been United States Senator since 1997.
The above ad was run in the Republican primary, and not in the upcoming general election. What is the purpose for such an ad?
The above ad is the first commercial for Taylor. What is your impression of his opening ad?
Orman, as a third party candidate, is trying to demonstrate that he is different from both party candidates. Do you believe that his ad makes the case?
This November 2014, all 435 seats in the House, 36 seats in the Senate and 36 seats for Governor will be up for election. In the House of Representatives, 234 seats are held by Republicans. Democrats hold 199 seats. Two seats are vacant. In the United States Senate, 21 of the 36 seats are held by Democrats. The other 15 are held by Republicans. For Governor, Republicans find themselves defended 22 seats, while the Democrats will defend 14. As the days slowly ease their way into the Fall months, men and women of all shapes and sizes will be bombarded by campaign advertisements. Your attention will be drawn to the elections held in your state.
The question is: Have you been paying attention to the 2014 midterm election already? What is your interest level when it comes to elections in your area?