50 Days, 50 Thoughts (Day 5: Hey, Aren’t They Republican?)


Why Republican incumbents this election cycle would rather you not point out that they’re Republicans.



Well, we’re in the thick of it. As we count down the days left till November 8th – by our count it’s 46 – we’ll be giving a daily thought on the state of the 2016 elections. If you want us to talk about a certain topic or issue for this feature, leave it in the comments section at this post or email it to us at contact[AT]thepostturtle.com, with “50 Days, 50 Thoughts” as the title. In this installment, we’ll be talking about how Republican incumbents are keeping their party affiliation on-the-DL this election cycle.  



At the Post Turtle, we see our share of campaign ads. And in the 2016 elections thus far, we’ve noticed a trend among Republicans that are currently in tight races.


Here’s Illinois Senator Mark Kirk’s Ad:


There’s this one from Ohio Senator Rob Portman:


And finally here’s one from Pennsylvania Senator Kelly Ayotte:


So a few thoughts.


  • First, these are all Republican senators looking for reelection, yet based on their ads you wouldn’t really know that they’re Republican. Between Sen. Kirk “supporting a women’s right to choose”, Sen. Portman making his political ad about supporting unions, and Sen. Ayotte talking about how she’s a proponent of the environment, suddenly ads that look like they should star Democrats are being pitched by desperate Republicans looking for reelection.


  • Also, notice none of these ads ever tell the viewer they’re Republican, which is incredibly strange for a political ad…


  • On the flip side, their Democratic opponents can’t help but remind voters that they’re running as the Republican candidate. Specifically, they can’t help but remind you about their connection to Donald Trump. For example, here’s the Senate Majority PAC’s – a super PAC looking to get the Democrats a senate majority this year – attack ad against Sen. Ayotte.



Earlier this summer there was a theory that Republicans seeking reelection in the House and specifically in the Senate would start to distance themselves from Trump so they wouldn’t be tied to his controversial comments. In the close Senate races, that looks to be the going trend. In fact, if the above ads weren’t starring such prominent Republican names, you probably wouldn’t have even have known they’re running as the Republican candidate!


In some instances, like with Sen. Kirk, they had distanced themselves from the Donald Trump campaign early on, so it isn’t that much of an issue. But still, the fact they are even running as a Republican has put them in a precarious position. For most voters this election cycle, The Republican Name = Trump.


An equation that most GOP incumbents wish wasn’t the case.



(Photo Credit: Pixabay.com)


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  1. Pingback: Political Ad Theater: Paul Ryan’s “A Better Way Forward” Ad | The Post Turtle

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