Democrats Running Against Democrats, Selling “Independent Voice”

Aug 25, 2010 5:14pm

ABC's Z. Byron Wolf reports:

Rep. Jason Altmire’s tough new ad in which he touts breaking with his party on key issues is probably a harbinger of things to come from Democrats in tough races. 

Altmire broke with his party on the landmark health reform law and on the bailout for Wall Street that may or may not have rescued the economy.

Other Democrats have already expressed their independence in advertising.

Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, D-SD, has two notable ads one where she compares other lawmakers to children and one where she points out that she wants to be an “independent voice” and “voted against the bailouts and the trillion dollar health care plan.”

That’s the same health care law that most Democrats view as the crowning achievement of the Obama presidency so far.

Herseth Sandlin’s child analogy was not original. Sen. Blanche Lincoln, who voted for the health care bill, but only after the public option was stripped, survived a challenge from a more liberal Democrat, had a strikingly similar ad.

Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., is also selling himself as an “independent voice,” who voted against “President Bush’s attempts to privatize social security and voted against Nancy Pelosi’s energy tax on Hoosier families.

In another ad, talking about deporting illegal immigrants, Donnelly says “that may not be what the Washington crowd wants,” as a picture of President Obama, Speaker Pelosi and House Minority Leader John Boehner flashes by. “But I don’t work for them,” Donnelly says, “I work for you.”

Rep. Zack Space, D-Ohio, is described in a campaign radio ad as an “breaking from party lines on key issues” like oil drilling and immigration reform.

But the ad that best embodies the hopes of moderate Democrats in conservative who have broken with their party on key votes, is that of Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-NC.

In his ad, a woman laments the state of discourse in Washington and says,  “Sometimes I wish we could just get rid of everyone in Washington. Everyone except Mike McIntyre.”

Watch McIntyre's ad here.

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