The 2010 cycle will go down in history for sweeping Republican gains of at least 60 net seats in the House of Representatives and at least 6 seats in the Senate.
And from Demon Sheep to a spelling bee, there were dozens of memorable ads. CQ Roll Call staffers had their favorites, and we did some crowd-sourcing to find out some of the ads that were hard to forget. From simple attacks to goofy stunts that invited parodies, we came up with the 20 ads that represented the midterm elections.
Here's a teaser created by CQ Roll Call's Andrew Satter.
Want to know more? You can watch all of the ads below.
Our Twitter followers nominated this ad by California’s Gov.-elect Jerry Brown, in which he painted Republican rival and former eBay CEO as a clone of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
It looks like Sen. Lisa Murkowski will be making history by prevailing in a three-way race to keep her seat as a write-in candidate in Alaska. The rules were pretty tight, so after her loss in the primary to Joe Miller (R), Murkowski set about an education campaign that naturally spawned this spelling bee ad with adorable children.
Sen.-elect Ron Johnson is coming to Washington in January, thanks in part to his simple, positive campaign to portray himself as an accountant who can help fix problems in the Senate. Watch the ad that helped lead to his victory over Sen. Russ Feingold (D) in Wisconsin:
Pundits and politicians alike said Rep. Joe Sestak’s ad reminding Pennsylvania Democrats that Sen. Arlen Specter had been a George W. Bush-endorsed Republican was so brutal it was a major factor in Sestak’s primary victory in May. But that wasn’t enough, and Sestak narrowly lost the seat to former Rep. Pat Toomey. Watch Sestak’s anti-Specter ad:
Another primary winner-turned-loser was Sen. Blanche Lincoln. Lincoln (D-Ark.) had a series of ads making fun of Washington and assuring voters back home she hadn’t forgotten them. She defeated Lt. Gov. Bill Halter in a primary runoff election but lost by double digits Tuesday to Rep. John Boozman. Here’s one of her first ads in the primary.
Rep. Tom Perriello was one of the first Democrats to lose Tuesday night, falling to state Sen. Robert Hurt (R) in Virginia’s 5th district. This is an ad that generated a ton of buzz, since, well, it’s not often you see a politician using poop and a little self-mockery to make a serious point. Watch:
Speaking of making fun of yourself, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) went right at the heart of his “Twitter problem” with this ad. He won re-election with little effort Tuesday.
Rep. Earl Pomeroy (N.D.) tried to emphasize his independence from Democratic leaders in Washington during his closing ad, but it didn't work. Pomeroy was among the longtime lawmakers defeated Tuesday.
Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., takes a selfie with his cut-out head during the Hoops for Youth 16th annual charity basketball game held at George Washington University's Smith Center, September 8, 2014. The members of Congress team beat the lobbyist team 46-40. Buy photo here.