The Democratic senator, who is seeking reelection in 2014, will begin airing a distinctive new TV ad on Wednesday in which the Arkansas lawmaker talks about the importance of Christianity’s holy book in his life. Speaking directly to the camera in a solemn tone, Pryor grips a Bible with both hands as he talks about how his faith—and not the directives of either political party—guides him.
“I’m not ashamed to say that I believe in God, and I believe in his word,” he said, in a TV ad first reported by KATV in Little Rock. “The Bible teaches us no one has all the answers. Only God does. And neither political party is always right. This is my compass. My North Star. It gives me comfort and guidance to do what’s best for Arkansas.”
KATV reported the ad is running statewide and has “substantial” financial backing.
A spot so overtly focused on a candidate’s religion is rare. But extraordinary measures are necessary in Pryor’s case: He’s widely considered the incumbent Democratic senator most likely to lose in 2014.
His candidacy’s viability hinges on whether he can prove to his home-state voters that he shares their values and not those of President Obama, who won just 37 percent of the vote in the state last year. Few efforts drive that point home better than a TV spot focused on religion—many conservatives perceive Obama and national Democrats as secular, if not outright hostile to Christianity.
And it’s not the first time Pryor, one of the few Democrats who still opposes same-sex marriage, has used religion as an ally in his campaign. In 2002, when Pryor first ran for the Senate, he featured an ad in which he again held his Bible and said, “The most important lessons in life are in this book right here.”
The ad is the second memorable spot produced by the Pryor campaign of late, nearly a year before the midterm election. Last month, his campaign ran a hard-hitting spot about Social Security and Medicare. If there’s a lesson from the pair of TV spots, it’s that Pryor’s campaign isn’t wasting time trying to define him or his presumptive opponent, Republican Rep. Tom Cotton—especially as the problem-filled Obamacare rollout drags down Democratic approval ratings nationwide.
What We're Following See More »
"Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson told CNN Thursday that Mitt Romney was considering endorsing him for president this fall." He said the two had recently spoken. Johnson's running mate, Bill Weld, agreed that they have a good chance of winning the endorsement, especially if they meet the 15% polling threshold for participating in the presidential debates.
"It is with humility, determination, and boundless confidence in America’s promise that I accept your nomination for president," said Hillary Clinton in becoming the first woman to accept a nomination for president from a major party. Clinton gave a wide-ranging address, both criticizing Donald Trump and speaking of what she has done in the past and hopes to do in the future. "He's taken the Republican party a long way, from morning in America to midnight in America," Clinton said of Trump. However, most of her speech focused instead on the work she has done and the work she hopes to do as president. "I will be a president of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. For the struggling, the striving, the successful," she said. "For those who vote for me and for those who don't. For all Americans together."
Supporters of Bernie Sanders promised to walk out, turn their backs, or disrupt Hillary Clinton's speech tonight, and they made good immediately, with an outburst almost as soon as Clinton began her speech. But her supporters, armed with a handy counter-chant cheat sheet distributed by the campaign, immediately began drowning them out with chants of "Hillary, Hillary!"
If a new poll is to be believed, Hillary Clinton has a big lead in the all-important swing state of Pennsylvania. A new Suffolk University survey shows her ahead of Donald Trump, 50%-41%. In a four-way race, she maintains her nine-point lead, 46%-37%. "Pennsylvania has voted Democratic in the past six presidential elections, going back to Bill Clinton’s first win in 1992. Yet it is a rust belt state that could be in play, as indicated by recent general-election polling showing a close race."
Wednesday was the third night in a row that the Democratic convention enjoyed a ratings win over the Republican convention last week. Which might have prompted a fundraising email from Donald Trump exhorting supporters not to watch. "Unless you want to be lied to, belittled, and attacked for your beliefs, don't watch Hillary's DNC speech tonight," the email read. "Instead, help Donald Trump hold her accountable, call out her lies and fight back against her nasty attacks."