Senate Elects To Stick To Respect In Television Ads
Candidates Push To Finale
Published: Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
Never has it been more evident that it is officially election season in Massachusetts. While the rest of the nation is focused on the presidential election, the Commonwealth is multi-tasking with the highly publicized Scott Brown-Elizabeth Warren Senate race. Over the past couple of weeks, the polls have spoken volumes as to exactly how tight this race will be. Just two weeks ago, Senator Scott Brown had a sizable five-point lead over Democrat Elizabeth Warren, but in recent polls, the point-difference between the two candidates has been less than one point, with a 3.5 percent margin of error. In the pivotal weeks leading up to the Senate election, Brown and Warren will be vying for the people of Massachusetts’ vote in what will prove to be one of the most exciting elections this season.
This race has more than lived up to the hype that was generated immediately following Warren’s announcement to run for the Senate seat. As reported by the Huffington Post in late July, “the amount collected by all candidates in the race pitting Republican U.S. Senator Scott Brown against Democratic Rival Elizabeth Warren through the end of June has topped $46.7 million, according to an Associated Press review of campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.” In the 2010 election to fill Edward Kennedy’s Senate seat, $44.4 million was spent. To give some context, the Huffington Post also reported that in Virginia, $20.6 million has been collected for both candidates of the Senate election. In Missouri, $19 million; in Nevada, $16.4 million. This is clearly a testament to how important of a race this is to both the Republicans and the Democrats, locally and nationally.
In addition, Brown and Warren make it exponentially easier to be involved in the race because of the civilized tone resulting from the People’s Pledge agreement. Back in January, Brown and Warren agreed to keep third-party groups out of negative ads by signing the People’s Pledge. Under this agreement, “a candidate who benefits from a third-party ad has to pay a penalty chosen by the other,” National Public Radio reported. Most media outlets and Massachusetts residents agree that this has shifted the race’s tone for better.
However, without negative ads, Brown and Warren campaign ads will target the character of the candidate, which has proven to be tricky for Warren. Recently, The Boston Globe reported that, “according to top Democratic leaders in Massachusetts, Warren campaign advisers are considering a new strategy that will be aimed at toning down what those leaders call the preachy tone that has dominated her ads until now.” Warren’s media team is considering making a significant shift in how they present Warren—in an effort to make her more appealing to voters. Tufts political science professor Jeffery M. Berry commented, “She is sitting stationary, not a lot going on besides her talking into a camera.” Local Republicans and even some Democrats note that Brown’s advertisements make him seem very polished, young, and active. His commercials show him with fishermen and addressing the “overregulation” of the industry, speaking to you “on the road” in his pick-up truck, and also in the same frame as a firefighter.
Even if Warren doesn’t make strides with the possible new direction of her television ads, she’ll have one more chance to make an impression with her voters, namely the upcoming debate. Brown and Warren will appear together in the fourth and final televised debate on Sept. 27, hosted by The Boston Herald and UMass-Lowell, moderated by David Gregory of “Meet the Press.”