Congressional Republicans are using their 2010 playbook in ads today, as they go on offense and play defense in various races around the country. Meanwhile, Democrats are picking up on 2012 trends: personally criticizing one's opponent and going creative.
To fend off accusations of gutting Medicare in 2010, many House Republicans ran ads featuring their own parents vouching for their Medicare bona fides. State Treasurer Richard Mourdock's (R) new spot features his dad. The campaign announced that it will run on statewide broadcast.
In his tossup race for Colorado's 6th district, Rep. Mike Coffman (R) released an ad featuring his "No. 1 adviser on Medicare," his mother. It will be a major part of his advertising campaign going into the fall.
The Coffman campaign put the ad up in reaction to a spot in which his Democratic challenger, state Rep. Joe Miklosi, put up on Denver airwaves earlier this week. As has been the trend over the past week, Miklosi is going negative by personally addressing criticisms of Coffman instead of using a narrator.
The tactic of using an elderly family member has been an oft-repeated strategy for candidates with weaknesses on Medicare and Social Security. A slew of candidates used it in 2010, and even more recently, Republican Jesse Kelly featured his grandfather in his unsuccessful June special election to replace former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D).
The National Republican Congressional Committee has previously indicated that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) would not be as prevalent in advertising this cycle as she was in 2010. But a super PAC, the Congressional Leadership Fund, is directly tying Rep. Betty Sutton (D) to Pelosi. The ad is part of a $1.1 million TV and digital campaign in Cleveland. Cleveland is one of the most saturated markets in the country.
Sutton is in a Member-vs.-Member race against Rep. Jim Renacci (R).
The most creative ad released today is from attorney Kathy Boockvar (D). Her latest spot claims her opponent, Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R), isn't the right "fit" for the district — with a unique way of illustrating that point. Creatively negative ads will likely be the trend of this cycle. Expect more to come.