Among the latest ads, one we were expecting has hit the air — just not where we thought it would. And two candidates' ads feature relatives making the case for their campaigns — much to the candidates' faux chagrin.
We expected a version of the following ad to surface in the Missouri Senate race — a rape victim criticizing a Republican candidate's policies. But in this case, it is state Assembly Speaker John Oceguera's (D) new ad against Rep. Joe Heck (R). As the GOP is beginning to show more overt support for Akin, it is a reminder of how much his "legitimate rape" comment has put these sorts of issues in the forefront of races other than his own.
North Dakota Senate
Former state Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp's (D) campaign released a new, positive web ad. Several of her siblings tell marginally embarrassing stories about Heitkamp intended to illustrate why she would be a good Senator. Heitkamp is in a touch race with Rep. Rick Berg (R).
South Dakota At-Large
Rep. Kristi Noem's ad is more defensive, rather than a straight positive spot. It takes a common GOP tactic — featuring an elderly relative vouch for the candidate's Medicare bona fides. But the Republican Congresswoman and her grandmother go at it in a fun, spirited way. Noem's ads in 2010 featured family members, but this time around, her race is not nearly as competitive. Former Congressional aide Matt Varilek (D) is challenging Noem.
The following ads win points for visual creativity. Crossroads GPS, a Republican super PAC, has a new ad against Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) that criticizes his policies by putting the viewer in the chair for a visit to the optometrist. It is part of a $4 million dollar buy that is scheduled to run a week in support of Republican Senate candidates in Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin. In this race, state Treasurer Josh Mandel (R) is challenging Brown's re-election bid.
Former state Rep. Mike Obermueller (D) is challenging Rep. John Kline (R). In his new ad, he takes an independent stance by creatively illustrating wasteful government. Obermueller's campaign did not immediately respond for a request for buy information. The campaign has put about $150,000 behind the ad.
Shira Toeplitz contributed to this report.