VIDEO: NRCC Attacks Democratic Members in First TV Ads
The National Republican Congressional Committee's first four independent expenditure TV ads, released Friday, all target Democratic incumbents, but as Rothenberg Political Report pointed out, they don't all hew to the same exact message. While the first two TV ads released by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee focused on Medicare and Paul Ryan's budget proposal, the NRCC's ads all go after the House members a little differently.
The ad hitting Rep. John Barrow, D-Ga., for example, hits most strongly on the Democrat's relationship with President Obama, while the ad against Rep. Mark Critz, D-Pa., drills down on health care a bit more and name-drops House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, the bogeyman of so many GOP ads in 2010. In Democratic Rep. Mike McIntyre's district, voters are seeing an ad tying him to tax increases and outsourcing. And the ad against Rep. Ben Chandler, D-Ky., accuses him of misleading voters about his spending priorities.
"We poll to find out what the right messages are," said Joanna Burgos, the NRCC's independent expenditure director. "You can't test in Pennsylvania and assume it'll work in North Carolina; it's just different."
Both trends could change as the cycle progresses. The DCCC could diversify its message a little as it goes on the air in other districts, though Democrats are confident in the versatility of Ryan- and Medicare-related attacks. And the NRCC could end up running similar-looking ads to defend many of its endangered incumbents when it begins airing those spots. For now, though, we have an interesting collection of Republican angles against Democratic incumbents to consider.