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Kirk’s new TV ad plays up Downstate roots, SDems keep spending, but Rothenberg has a warning

Tuesday, Sep 28, 2010

* We have a new TV ad in the US Senate race. Rate it


Script…

Two candidates.

Mark Kirk: born in Champaign, attended college in Carlinville with mainstream Illinois values.

Kirk is a “deficit hawk” who’s voted to cut taxes 40 times.

Chicago politician Alexi Giannoulias pushes for more spending…bigger government…promises to raise taxes to pay for it.

I’m Mark Kirk and I approved this message because I will spend less, tax less, and borrow less to put Illinois back to work.

Sweet is right that Kirk is attempting to build his lead among Downstate voters with this ad, among other things.

* Alexi Giannoulias’ ad spending has caught some folks by surprise. He ended the last quarter with about a million dollars on hand, but he’s spending money like he has a lot of it. And the national Dems have jumped in big

POLITICO has learned that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has placed a $400,000 ad buy for the second week in a row in Illinois to boost Democratic nominee Alexi Giannoulias’s bid against Republican Mark Kirk.

The two consecutive media buys, coupled with President Barack Obama’s announcement last week that he will make a second fundraising stop for Giannoulias in October, indicate the party’s continuing faith that it can keep hold of the seat that Obama vacated in his move to the White House. With almost a dozen Democrat-held seats in play this November, the party has to choose which races will get its financial assistance for the remainder of the campaign.

Nonetheless, national Democrats’ latest investment on Giannoulias’s behalf is less than some of the other ad buys for the Illinois Senate race so far – especially in the pricey Windy City media market. The DSCC has bought $250,000 worth of ad time in Chicago this week, compared to the Kirk campaign’s $470,000 ad buy in the same market last week. Giannoulias’ campaign put up about $450,000 worth of ads in the Chicago market last week.

A spokesman for American Crossroads, the cash-flush independent expenditure supportive of GOP candidates, confirmed it purchased a weeklong ad buy totaling $482,000 statewide last week.

* But Stu Rothenberg makes some valuable points

You’d never know it from the avalanche of TV ads, direct-mail pieces and phone calls that voters will receive in October, but most campaigns have only another week or two to change the likely outcome of their contests.

Sure, the midterm elections are still five weeks away, but the combination of early voting in many states and the difficulty of cutting through the coming clutter means that the best opportunity for campaigns to change voter attitudes is quickly coming to an end. […]

Moreover, after weeks of advertising, voters already know the fundamental messages of the campaigns. A campaign trailing on Oct. 1 better have some killer new information in its October advertising if it is going to get attention from increasingly cynical voters. […]

A few elections will likely turn on late campaign developments, possibly an ad, a weak debate performance or an issue introduced at the last minute. And a big national news story can obviously have a significant effect on November’s results.

But for most races, the die will be cast around the beginning of October. Either the early ads changed opinion or they didn’t. And that is why the last month of most campaigns is actually less decisive than you may think it is.

Quite true.

* But Bob Creamer adds

My consulting firm participated in a study several years ago that showed that one door to door contact within 72 hours of Election Day increased the propensity to vote by 12.5%. A second one in the same period increased turnout almost as much.

* The Tribune has posted its US Senate candidate questionnaires online…

* Mark Kirk

* Alexi Giannoulias

* LeAlan Jones

* Mike Labno

* Dear NRSC,

Is this sort of blast e-mail to reporters really all that helpful?

Good morning –

In reporting on failed mob banker Alexi Giannoulias’ fundraiser with Vice President Joe Biden in New York City today, please consider the following response from the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC):

“Help from Washington won’t save Alexi Giannoulias from his own record as a failed mob banker, and it won’t change the fact that his risky behavior led to the loss of millions of dollars in the state’s college savings program and the downfall of his own family’s business. Illinois voters deserve a U.S. Senator who will restore accountability, transparency, and respect to this office – not another Blagojevich crony who wants to raise taxes for families and small businesses, increase spending, and loaned millions of dollars to known criminals.” – Amber Marchand, NRSC Press Secretary

Sheesh.

* Related…

* Kirk and Giannoulias’ Moms Involved in Their Campaigns

* Appeals court rejects Roland Burris’ bid to run in special Senate election

* Lame Duck Senate Could be More GOP

* Tea Party Express reveals details of national bus tour

- Posted by Rich Miller        

29 Comments
  1. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 28, 10 @ 9:32 am:

    Great ad. I like the Champaign and Carlinville references. When Kirk calms down and sticks to a believable script, he’s pretty good. When, he starts, um, expanding is when he gets into trouble.

    Question for the NRSC: Do you think most reporters are dazzled by the purple prose? Save it for Fox and the yabbos.


  2. - Niles Township - Tuesday, Sep 28, 10 @ 9:37 am:

    10 if it is airing only outside the Chicago market.


  3. - Davey Boy Smithe - Tuesday, Sep 28, 10 @ 9:37 am:

    Amber, your NRSC statement could’ve used a little Al Capone reference. Let’s work him in there next time.


  4. - Ghost - Tuesday, Sep 28, 10 @ 9:39 am:

    This is the meat and potaoes side of Kirk he should have ben running with all along. The question is has he returned in time to get the lead. I also like how he leaves open the ability to increase taxes, but still pushes he is the more fiscal conservative canidate.


  5. - shore - Tuesday, Sep 28, 10 @ 9:40 am:

    the college picture of kirk-talk about a guy who could actually claim to have a bad hair day.


  6. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 28, 10 @ 9:44 am:

    Maybe the NRSC should call those Amber Alerts, warning reporters of releases that are missing intelligence and reason.


  7. - The Captain - Tuesday, Sep 28, 10 @ 9:52 am:

    Downstate roots? This is the guy who thinks Harvey and Downers Grove are downstate.


  8. - Louis Howe - Tuesday, Sep 28, 10 @ 9:57 am:

    B - Good…plain vanilla “Compare/Contrast” ad…However, I’d suggest Kirk continue to establish a strong negative tie between Quinn/Alexi at least until mid-October.


  9. - D.P. Gumby - Tuesday, Sep 28, 10 @ 10:09 am:

    For a downstater, this is a snoozer and comes across as pandering by a Chicago-ite.


  10. - ZC - Tuesday, Sep 28, 10 @ 10:09 am:

    “spend less, tax less, and borrow less” …

    … 1 out of 3 ain’t bad?? I certainly believe the national GOP is sincere about taxing less.


  11. - bored now - Tuesday, Sep 28, 10 @ 10:09 am:

    so a pattern of lying is a “mainstream Illinois value?”

    oh, forget i asked. rating: i agree with niles township…


  12. - Dirt Digger - Tuesday, Sep 28, 10 @ 10:28 am:

    May I ask what this statement:

    “increased the propensity to vote by 12.5%”

    even means? What is the actual change in turnout with what seems to be the 72 Hour Plan?


  13. - Cosmic Charlie - Tuesday, Sep 28, 10 @ 10:44 am:

    Good ad but the b-roll of him behind the desk is awkward. You want him to be accesible and with people, not barking orders from behind a desk.


  14. - COPN - Tuesday, Sep 28, 10 @ 10:45 am:

    The Rothenberg and Creamer article are well paired…a diminished return on ads to change folks’ minds does not mean efforts to turnout a vote is wasted.

    Then again, can an ad really be nuanced enough to target turnout over changing minds, or are ads just blunt force political weapons?


  15. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Sep 28, 10 @ 10:48 am:

    Ad is good. The music played in the background is the sames as used by “Happy Aces Retirement Village”, or is it the background music for that slideshow at Rocky Mountain National Park back in 1982?

    Makes me want a cup of cocoa.


  16. - Draznnl (Rhymes with orange) - Tuesday, Sep 28, 10 @ 10:50 am:

    The ad is, at best, a B-. It tells you where he was born and went to college, but omits everything in between. By Kirk’s standards, every Chicago kid who attends SIU, Eastern, Western, etc., could claim downstate roots. Especially if mom gave birth somewhere like Springfield while the family was driving back from a Cubs-Cards game in St. Louis. On the other hand, the ad does look and sound nice.


  17. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, Sep 28, 10 @ 10:51 am:

    Dirt Digger,

    I would read that statement to say if there is a 50% chance of a certain turnout, contact would increase the chance to 56%. Hitting the voters again raises the chance to 62%.

    Or something…


  18. - Ghost - Tuesday, Sep 28, 10 @ 11:04 am:

    Every time I hear mob banker I think of the Godfather and want to go vote for Alexi…


  19. - Responsa - Tuesday, Sep 28, 10 @ 11:26 am:

    Kirk’s ad for a collar, central Illinois, and downstate audience is good. The geographic epithet “Chicago politician” is heard often in conversation in those areas of the state and means something—so *being* that isn’t a great recommendation for any candidate regardless of their political affiliation. For this reason Kirk’s ad did not feel like pandering to me as someone else mentioned, nor do I think it will be viewed as such. I give it an A-.


  20. - A.B. - Tuesday, Sep 28, 10 @ 11:58 am:

    Terrific ad that defines significant differentiators for the downstate voter between Kirk and AG. People are looking for positive differentiators because the negatives are so high on both candidates and this ad will reach that mark downstate. Solid A for this one.


  21. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Sep 28, 10 @ 12:12 pm:

    Can someone tell me what college is in Carlinville? And when/how long Kirk attended it?

    I thought his official biography to this point was that he went to school at Cornell and in England (where he got his vast teaching experience via work study)?


  22. - Responsa - Tuesday, Sep 28, 10 @ 12:15 pm:

    hgf, info is in Sweet’s column.


  23. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, Sep 28, 10 @ 12:37 pm:

    This ad is right in the “sweet spot” for all voters, but especially for non-Chicagoans. It is also an example of a good attack piece that doesn’t come across as negative. I was going to give this ad a solid B+, but I no longer use this grade since Obama claimed it as his own. Let’s give it an A-.


  24. - A.B. - Tuesday, Sep 28, 10 @ 12:45 pm:

    Kirk was at Blackburn College for a year, before transferring to Cornell. His education in England was his masters degree from the London School of Economics and his J.D. was from Georgetown while he was working for Congressman Porter.


  25. - CM46 - Tuesday, Sep 28, 10 @ 2:24 pm:

    Production - A+. Good graphics music. The contrasting changes in music and graphics were well placed in this ad. Gotta love that boy scout pic. lol

    Content: A. I didn’t even know the guy was born in Champaign. So I guess it’s informative about the guy but to be honest, he didn’t grow up here so hopefully people won’t be duped by that bit of information. I guess overall it does the job. On the basis of the content, good ad and worth the money.

    Overall A.


  26. - Anon - Tuesday, Sep 28, 10 @ 3:32 pm:

    Has it ever been proven that IL voters have a poor opinion of the mob?


  27. - The REAL Anonymous fka Anonymous - Tuesday, Sep 28, 10 @ 8:45 pm:

    =Amber, your NRSC statement could’ve used a little Al Capone reference.=

    Don’t forget Geraldo.


  28. - The REAL Anonymous fka Anonymous - Tuesday, Sep 28, 10 @ 8:53 pm:

    Uh uh. The changes in voice are too obvious. Kirk, such a nice guy…dreamy. GiannUliaS, the DEVIL…downright evil. Kirk, such a nice guy, dreamy.

    And why is Kirk so tanned at the end? Summer–maybe, but beginning of fall?

    Contrasts are too strong all the way through and therefore seem insincere. Just sayin.


  29. - The REAL Anonymous fka Anonymous - Tuesday, Sep 28, 10 @ 9:09 pm:

    With sound off, teleVISION is better. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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