I wrote on Wednesday that the motivation behind the Democratic-aligned Majority PAC's negative ad against frontrunning Republican John Brunner seemed to be to elevate Rep. Todd Akin, the candidate Democrats appear most eager to run against.
A review of a new round of negative TV ads from Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill airing against all three candidates provides even further evidence that Akin is the candidate McCaskill would most prefer to face. Unlike her ads against Brunner and former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman, McCaskill's ad about Akin is filled with lines that appear designed to increase the odds the Akin wins the GOP primary.
The anti-Brunner ad questions the businessman's conservative credentials. "A reliable conservative?" the narrator asks. The ad concludes with the narrator saying, "conservative means you don't spend more than you make." The Steelman spot calls the former treasurer "more politics as usual."
The anti-Akin ad? Well, that spot not only calls Akin "a crusader against bigger government," but also refers to his "pro-family agenda" and calls him "too conservative." Granted, it is ostensibly criticizing him, but it sure looks a lot like a more subtle call to conservative voters to get behind Akin in the primary.
If this spot was being run in a general election, it would make a lot of sense for different reasons. The competition for moderate voters that will take place means this kind of ad could do some serious damage in the larger electorate. And if Akin is the nominee, we may very well see more ads like this in the fall.
But the GOP primary is two and a half weeks away, and exposing viewers to words like "pro-family" and calling him "the most conservative congressman in Missouri" will only help amp up his support on the Right.
Check out the anti-Brunner and anti-Steelman spots after the jump.