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 »
With three days until the first debate, the polls are coming fast and furious. The latest round:
- An Associated Press/Gfk poll of registered voters found very few voters committed, with Clinton leading Trump, 37% to 29%, and Gary Johnson at 7%.
- A McClatchy-Marist poll gave Clinton a six-point edge, 45% to 39%, in a four-way ballot test. Johnson pulls 10% support, with Jill Stein at 4%.
- Rasmussen, which has drawn criticism for continually showing Donald Trump doing much better than he does in other polls, is at it again. A new survey gives Trump a five-point lead, 44%-39%.
In contrast to Hillary Clinton's meticulous debate practice sessions, Donald Trump "is largely shunning traditional debate preparations, but has been watching video of…Clinton’s best and worst debate moments, looking for her vulnerabilities.” Trump “has paid only cursory attention to briefing materials. He has refused to use lecterns in mock debate sessions despite the urging of his advisers. He prefers spitballing ideas with his team rather than honing them into crisp, two-minute answers.”
Donald Trump "is on the precipice of becoming the only major-party presidential candidate this century not to reach out to millions of American voters whose dominant, first or just preferred language is Spanish. Trump has not only failed to buy any Spanish-language television or radio ads, he so far has avoided even offering a translation of his website into Spanish, breaking with two decades of bipartisan tradition."
Bill and Hillary Clinton have purchased the home next door to their primary residence in tony Chappaqua, New York, for $1.16 million. "By purchasing the new home, the Clinton's now own the entire cul-de-sac at the end of the road in the leafy New York suburb. The purchase makes it easier for the United States Secret Service to protect the former president and possible future commander in chief."