Negative Ads Are Top Issues in Key Senate Races
Ford is out with another ad this week where he stands in a kitchen and attacks Corker for the personal tone of the attacks and for going after the Ford family.
"This election is about familyyours. And I'll never forget that," Ford says into the camera, shortly after pointing out that "Tennessee families are struggling" with healthcare, the Iraq war, and the consequences of "broken borders." Near the beginning, Ford tells the audience, "If I had a dog, [Corker would] probably kick him too."
In Missouri, an ad featuring Michael J. Fox, who suffers from Parkinson's disease, has become its own flashpoint. In the ad, Fox speaks out in favor of Democratic nominee Claire McCaskill, who backs a state ballot initiative that would amend the state constitution to allow for expansion of stem cell research in Missouri.
Conservative radio commentator Rush Limbaugh set off a firestorm of criticism when he said that Fox, who bobs and weaves back and forth in the spot, "was either off the medication or he was acting." McCaskill is trying to unseat Republican Sen. Jim Talent, who Fox says "opposes expanding stem cell research" and "even tried to criminalize the science that gives [sufferers of terminal illness] a chance for hope."
"They say all politics is local, but it's not always the case," Fox says at the close of the ad. "What you do in Missouri matters to millions of Americans. Americans like me."
The ad ran in the second game of the World Series, in which the St. Louis Cardinals were playing. For Game 4 several nights later, opponents of the initiative aired their own ad. A flurry of celebritiesincluding Jim Caviezel, the lead in the movie The Passion of the Christ; St. Louis Rams quarterback Kurt Warner; Everybody Loves Raymond actress Patricia Heaton; and Jeff Suppan, the starting pitcher that night for the Cardinalsappeared in the spot.
The initiative "claims it bans human cloning," says Suppan. "But in the 2,000 words you don't read, it makes cloning a constitutional right."
Heaton contends that poor women will be lured into donating their eggs to fertility clinics for money. The painful procedure involved, another person ads, has already resulted in the deaths of 25 women and 6,000 complaints of complications.
Recent polls show that while a majority of Missouri voters back the constitutional amendment, support is down roughly 10 percentage points from levels this summer. An Opinion Research Corp. poll for CNN released Tuesday shows McCaskill and Talent in a dead heat, each with 49 percent of the vote.