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Interesting color scheme you've got going there
The above screen capture is from a recent tv ad for Tom Corbett, vulnerable incumbent governor of Pennsylvania.

Notice anything missing?

How about watching the whole video. Notice what's missing?

Then check out the other official videos his campaign has posted up to this point.

Do you notice any glaring omissions, other than facts?

Let's compare to the candidates competing to be his opponent in the general election:

Tom Wolf PA Governor commercial 2014
Allyson Schwartz Pennsylvania Governor commercial 2014
Katie McGinty PA Governor commercial 2014
Rob McCord PA Governor commercial 2014
Get the picture?

In every single tv ad shown by Tom Corbett this year, never once does he ever mention that he is a Republican. Not even on his campaign's website front page.

On the other hand, all of the candidates competing for the Democratic nomination explicitly and prominently state that they are Democrats in almost all of their tv commercials.

So what does this say about the state of the Governor's race in 2014?

I will concede that I may be reading a bit too much in to what may be a minor detail. For example, most Pennsylvanians likely know by now that Corbett is a Republican, so GOP voters likely do not need that reminder. And I'm watching tv in the Philadelphia area; there could be modified commercials running in central PA.

But let's not forget that Corbett is the incumbent, which normally affords the candidate a large enough advantage that it can often trump political affiliation. Hiding may be too strong a word, but the fact that Corbett's campaign would rather not remind voters that he's a Republican is an interesting choice.

Meanwhile, all the Democratic candidates do not see reminding voters that they're Democrats as a weakness. A lot of the focus recently has been on the fact that they have started running negative ads against Tom Wolf. If anything, I see this as a particularly spirited primary, that is going to set the table for a general election that is quite favorable to Democrats. Like any other Democrat, I don't like to see the candidates attacking fellow Democrats. But they're in it to win after all; if they want to be seen as the strongest candidate, they need to show it, and likewise Wolf needs to show he can tough out the attacks. That's politics.

But let's not ignore the liberal bent of each and every ad. None of these candidates are trying to stake their claim to the moderate or centrist title. And we should see this pay off in the general election.

The lament of any base voter is to see their candidate move to the Center following a primary where they characterized themselves as more ideologically pure. But in a primary season where 90% of the ads are sending a Democratic message, they set the agenda for the ads and debates that come during the General election season. The Center suddenly looks far less appealing come September and October.

So I always leave it to you all to come to your own conclusions; but the way I see recent ads going, tells me that a strong Democratic platform will be the best vehicle to victory in PA in November. And if Corbett's camp can't even admit to their own political party affiliation, it speaks volumes about their chances as well.

Perhaps other states should take notice.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (12+ / 0-)

    "In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.” -Confucius

    by pierre9045 on Wed May 14, 2014 at 08:40:12 PM PDT


    The Dems should be wrapping THAT around Corbett's head and neck with steel cables 24/7.

  •  In some states, party-ID is req'rd on signs & ads (0+ / 0-)

    even if just "D" or "R".

    I guess not in PA. :-)

    •  Looking through their laws. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Trying to figure that out.

    •  I'm pretty sure not in PA. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I see signs advertising candidates & few of them ever mention party. If I don't already know which party a candidate belongs to, I don't find out until I get my (paper) ballot and read the R or D next to their name.

      Primaries are closed here, of course: Which ballot you get depends on which party you're registered in. But in the general? For a local race? A lot of times I can't remember which candidate is with which party: the ballot tells me; the ads do not.

      English usage is sometimes more than mere taste, judgment and education - sometimes it's sheer luck, like getting across the street. E. B. White

      by Youffraita on Wed May 14, 2014 at 11:18:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not the law here (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      terrypinder, VClib

      And I have trouble imagining how such compelled speech is constitutional.

      •  'compelled speech', like food ingredients? (0+ / 0-)

        Or truth in advertising? Or disclosure laws that compel speech about financial contributions?

        Yikes, kinda scary that you're a "contributing writer to the Daily Kos front page on legal and campaign finance issues," per your profile, and "Chair, Netroots Nation Bd of Dirs." :-)

        I very much want party-affiliation (if any) known, for all candidates. If they are Independent (no party), that's no problem, just put "I". If they are Libertarian, or Green Party, or Constitution Party, or National Socialist Movement, or American Freedom Party, etc, I'd like that known, too. If their campaign lit uses Democratic talking-points when in fact they are Republicans (or vice versa), I'd like voters to know this and make an informed vote.


        Political Advertising
        ID Size and Placement
        According to state law, on written or printed political advertising, the sponsor's full name and address and the candidate's party affiliation must:
        • appear on the first page of the communication in at least 10 point type, or
        • for ads such as billboards or posters, appear in type at least 10% of the largest size type used in the ad, and
        • not be screened or half-toned (i.e., not made lighter through some printing or photographic process), and
        • be set apart from any other ad text.
        The sponsor's full name and candidate's party preference must be clearly identified In radio and TV political ads.
        I'd like DailyKos to instinctively use the Constitution to push for more transparency, disclosure and accountability, not to do Koch/Scalia's work by finding legal arguments against such measures.

        I've had enough of Constitutional absolutists (like the those who worship the second half of the Second Amendment), who seem to have lost in law-school whatever wisdom they were born with. :-)

        •  Paid-for-by, in political ads, is necessary. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          terrypinder, VClib

          But at a certain point, it's up to citizens to find the information themselves.  I think it's especially problematic to compel additional speech within the time-limited constraints of a :15 or :30 tv/radio ad, but I guess you've got that in Washington.

          •  It's not our responsibility (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            To know what freaking party they're in. To add a single word, REPUBLICAN or DEMOCRAT onto a sign or above your name on a TV ad is not an irrational expectation. Even for radio it's not irrational.

            •  um, it kind of is our responsibility (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              since as voters, we're CHOOSING them.

              I agree with Adam here. Adding the party is a courtesy, a nice one perhaps, but really not necessary.

              Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. uid 52583 lol

              by terrypinder on Thu May 15, 2014 at 01:03:12 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It is a necessary. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Ad campaigns are all the researching some voters do which is fine. If the candidate is making an effort to inform the public about themselves, the rules should require them to include party identification.

                •  i disagree (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  a courtesy, yes. a nice one, yes. a needed requirement, i agree with adam's argument.

                  voters guides are published all the time. i think we do a disservice thinking people who vote don't know who or what they're voting for. i no longer think that.

                  Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. uid 52583 lol

                  by terrypinder on Thu May 15, 2014 at 03:48:12 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  GAK - I don't agree (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              In non-partisan offices the listing of party should not be required. In open primaries I don't think it should be mandated. People should vote for the best candidate, not only by party affiliation.

              "let's talk about that" uid 92953

              by VClib on Thu May 15, 2014 at 06:27:44 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  DailyKos: electing better & more, um, candidates? (0+ / 0-)

                Wtf. That's one of the first lessons that any PCO or canvasser/doorbeller learns: how to answer the "I don't vote for the party, I vote for the best candidate" nonsense. Makes me wonder if you've ever been involved in helping a Democrat win a tightly-contested election?

                I can't believe I'm seeing this from an 8-year veteran of DailyKos, a site which for a decade has worked to "elect better and more DEMOCRATS". Y'know, as in candidates who belong to the DEMOCRATIC PARTY (website: Because party affiliation means something.

                Obviously, in rare cases there are exceptions, e.g. when a complete idiot somehow gets on the ballot as the only Democrat in a race, and the Republican is some old-guard moderate (who hasn't followed the rightward lurch of the GOP for the past 30 years). "Exceptions prove the rule."

                No, Democrats are not a panacea or silver-bullet to all problems. Yes, there are challenges within the Democratic Party, as well. Yes, there are problems with our two-party system, and many problems with our system of campaign-finance. Yes, the Democratic Party is better than the GOP, on balance, and there's a reason we work to elect Democrats.

                For US Senatorial races in 2014 and 2016, and the White House in 2016, putting a progressive majority back in the Supreme Court is one of the major objectives. Gubernatorial races are critical for state-level policies and politics, and they can impact presidential elections (PA ranks sixth with 20 EC votes) and help build the 'farm league' for presidential candidates (for both parties).

  •  It says a lot. It says Repubs are (0+ / 0-)

    rightfully scared $h!tless about running as one.  And, if our Dems running for election or reelection were smart they'd wrap themselves in the ObamaCare flag, wrap themselves in the Raise The Min. Wage flag, and wrap themselves in the Save S.S. flag and point out that their opponent is too ashamed to mention s/he is a Repub.  Won't happen, I know, but if it did we would win well over 50% of our races and pick up some Seats in the House.

    Follow Connect! Unite! Act! MeetUp events! For live podcasting of your Event contact winkk to schedule.

    by winkk on Wed May 14, 2014 at 11:45:01 PM PDT

  •  I have not seen a sign stating "republican" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tinfoil Hat

    here in PA in maybe 10 years. The GOP/teabagger party here is noted for behind the scenes sneakiness, lies and every possible manipulation and fraud...PA's state legislature has a reputation as possibly the most corrupt in the USA, and is certainly in the top 3 in that respect, and the current tea bag  GOPers have taken this to new heights.

    I KNEW they would be bad for our state when they took it over in 2010, but I had no idea they would be so destructive and just pure fucking evil in a mere 4 years.

    Get as many republicans out of office ASAP in PA - show up and VOTE!!!

    Boycott all republican owned businesses-see how they like THAT.

    by old mark on Thu May 15, 2014 at 02:33:46 AM PDT

  •  Don't doubt yourself with this one. (0+ / 0-)

    These things are picked over carefully before they are made.  That cannot be an accident.  We saw that in 2008, when they ran from being repubs.  It goes on Judah.

    Please know I am not rude. I cannot rec anything from this browser. When I rec or post diaries I am a guest at some exotic locale's computer. Ayn is the bane!

    by Floyd Blue on Thu May 15, 2014 at 04:56:05 AM PDT

  •  corbett the tinman (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tinfoil Hat

    in a steel state, he brushed Sandusky under the rug for his run-investigating; he deprived the state of MA expansion while his version is "in the works" with new political jobs, pushed children to charter schools of his friends, brags of gas jobs which mostly went to workers imported from outside the state, is attempting to steal the resources from the 2 million plus acres of Game lands paid for exclusively from hunters' license fees.. and now is trying to paint himself as compassionate in the areas where trees don't vote and his gerrymandering will not work. but his wife has a nice garden at the mansion to play in

  •  this is a primary (0+ / 0-)

    and he has no opponent. There's not much need to put in "Republican for Governor" when you're the only one in the race. I wouldn't read too much into the ads.

    (I haven't seen them, but I watch television via DVR and fast forward through all commercials.)

    Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. uid 52583 lol

    by terrypinder on Thu May 15, 2014 at 01:01:44 PM PDT

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