The most noteworthy television ads today all dealt with negativity — how to dish it out and how to respond. The toughest ad we saw came from the Democratic House Majority PAC. The ad in the Colorado 6th House race is one of the toughest we have ever seen.
Here is what else that cut through the clutter:
As we noted Thursday, campaign ads took a nasty turn this week. The sharpest turn in the last 36 hours has been in Arizona. Wednesday night's debate between former Surgeon General Richard Carmona (D) and Rep. Jeff Flake (R) was a cordial affair. The next morning, the Flake camp dropped an anvil on Carmona with an ad featuring one of his former supervisors harshly criticizing him.
Carmona's team reacted quickly — issuing a statement Thursday afternoon, and by the evening, they had a new TV ad posted on YouTube.com. According to a campaign source, the ad was put together Thursday, but the Carmona campaign anticipated the attack and was prepared.
Campaigns often pretape rebuttal ads weeks or months in advance in anticipation of specific negative attacks. This was the case with this September ad from Rep. Mike Coffman (R) in Colorado's 6th.
Or a candidate can take this tack — the most remarkable thing about this new ad from Rep. Jim Renacci (R) is that he openly acknowledges some of the overly indignant charges that surface in campaign ads. Renacci put about $275,000 behind the ad. He's in a Member-vs.-Member race against Rep. Betty Sutton (D).
Still, the Humane Society Legislative Fund was unamused with his downplaying of their campaigning on behalf of Sutton. The group issued a statement that described Renacci as having "one of the worst records of animal protection issues in the entire Congress."
Fun With Ads
One of the smartest tweets we saw last night during the vice presidential debate came from the New York Times' polling guru Nate Silver. He noted similarities between Vice President Joseph Biden's presentation and a 1968 Hubert Humphrey ad:
Nate Silver @fivethirtyeight Biden subconsciously (or consciously?) channelling this ad: http://www.livingroomcandidate.org/commercials/1968/laughter …
And the folks over at PBS' NewsHour have actually created political Ad Libs, where you can make your own attack ads about yourself based on information on your Facebook profile.