Lincoln and Specter: Insiders, Outside

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With 14 days until their respective primaries, Blanche Lincoln and Arlen Specter are up with two new ads trying to encapsulate their candidacies in a concentrated dose and carry the bloodied incumbents into the general. Both Senators have flagging approval ratings, but are currently polling (plurality) leads against their primary opponents. Their TV spots have some notable similarities too.

Both ads seek to place the candidates in explicitly un-Washington, visually familiar locales — Lincoln in an Arkansas meadow and Specter against the Pittsburgh skyline. They both feature soft piano notes while the candidates speak directly into the camera about Democratic deliverables such as health care; Lincoln highlights her role as the “deciding vote.” For both Lincoln and Specter, it’s a balancing act: They’re trying to tout their efficacy while distancing themselves from the toxic Beltway milieu, and cover their primary bases while preparing for tough general election match-ups ahead. May 18 should be interesting.

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