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GOP Candidates Change Ads, Run as a Check on Hillary

GOP Candidates Change Ads, Run as a Check on Hillary

The strategy worked in 1996.

In August, the GOP and PACs associated with it, started preparing ads that target Hillary in case Donald Trump couldn’t make a comeback. Now that it’s almost certain we will end up with Hillary, the GOP knows the importance of holding the Senate and the House has only grown stronger.

With two weeks left, the candidates have unleashed these ads across the country, mirroring their opponents as too similar to Hillary and promise to keep her in check in the White House.

The Wall Street Journal reported:

Many Republican ads previously criticized Democrats for being allied with Mrs. Clinton but didn’t suggest so openly that she is likely to be the next president.

“Pivoting to a checks-and-balances message is pretty much conceding that Clinton will win, thus it’s the message of last resort,” said Jennifer Duffy, who analyzes Senate races for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report. “It’s being used more in states where Clinton has been unpopular in an effort to rally the GOP base.”

The FiveThirtyEight blog mentioned this voting strategy earlier:

Another, far less optimistic hypothesis for Democrats is that voters are purposely splitting their tickets. As my colleague Nate Silver pointed out on Tuesday, there’s some evidence that voters split their tickets when they feel confident in predicting who the next president will be. If they’re certain it will be a Democrat, they’ll vote for a Republican for Senate, and vice versa. It’s known in political science as “anticipatory balancing.” With Clinton’s lead becoming clearer by the day even as her favorability rating remains low (albeit not as low as Trump’s), it wouldn’t be surprising to see voters seeking a Republican Congress as a check on a President Clinton.

Missouri is one of the states that has concerned the GOP. The Senate Leadership Fund has poured $5.3 million more into incumbent Roy Blunt’s campaign. They recently released an ad that said “One Hillary in Washington would be bad enough,” insisting Democrat Jason Kander is too similar to Hillary.

Minnesota Republican candidate Stewart Mills aired this ad against his opponent Rep. Rick Nolan.

Politico reported:

In upstate New York, the National Republican Congressional Committee has been running a TV ad that says a Democratic candidate, Kim Myers, would “fast-track” Clinton’s agenda in the House. It urges voters to support Republican Claudia Tenney — who will “stand up to Hillary Clinton.” Another spot warns that Myers and an independent candidate, Martin Babinec, would “rubber-stamp Hillary Clinton’s agenda in Congress.”

Republican Sen. John McCain, facing the toughest reelection fight of his political career, is taking a similar approach. Following his primary victory, McCain released a face-to-camera video in which he called his Democratic opponent, Ann Kirkpatrick, a “good person,” but added: “If Hillary Clinton is elected president, Arizona will need a senator who will act as a check, not a rubber stamp, for the White House.”

The Congressional Leadership Fund, the primary super PAC for House Republicans, have also taken this approach. The PAC have found that in the districts up for reelection that have Hillary winning, want the candidate that will keep her in check, “rather than a ‘rubber stamp’ on her agenda:”

The group will begin airing ads in numerous districts using the “rubber stamp” theme later this week in states where Mrs. Clinton is favored to win, said its president, Mike Shields.

“Democrats are living in this fantasy world where they perceive Hillary as winning and they think that translates into support for their down-ballot candidates,” Mr. Shields said.

The GOP did this in 1996 when it realized that Bill Clinton would beat Bob Dole in 1996. It worked and the GOP maintained control of Congress.

The Hillary campaign has also funneled money into the down ticket elections as an effort to take Congress back from the GOP. The Democrats only need four seats to retake the Senate if Hillary wins. Last week, Politico reported that Hillary wants to spend $6 million in the battleground states plus an additional $1 million in Illinois and Missouri.

While the Democrats are also throwing money into these states, the GOP may be on the right track here.


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“Now that it is almost certain we’ll end up with Hillary”? What planet are you living on? Forget the polls because a poll can be made to say whatever the pollster wants it to say. Look at the crowds: Donald Trump gets 20K people, Hillary and Kaine get <50 each . . . .

    amwick in reply to Granny. | October 25, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    Absolutely. This is especially comical considering Mark Finkelstein’s Brexit article and the Obamacare price increase article both right here today on LI. Nothing is certain.

    UK Transplant in reply to Granny. | October 25, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    I was just logging in to say the same thing! The polls are based on past voting statistics and this is an unusual cycle, to say the least. Love Mary’s columns but this statement was surprising. I don’t think anyone can be certain of the outcome at this point.

    fscarn in reply to Granny. | October 25, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    I hope DJT and his campaign are making lists of these characters. They are not to be trusted. Come the 2018 mid-terms we’ll know who’s to be ousted.

The pols and the bookies have their money on a Hellary victory.

You might find both unsavory, but you can’t deny they are the ones with skin in the game.

You can always place your bets, and put your money where your mouth is…

    snopercod in reply to Ragspierre. | October 25, 2016 at 8:14 pm

    I did. I sent Trump $50 today. How much have you sent Hillary?

      scooterjay in reply to snopercod. | October 25, 2016 at 8:27 pm


      Hellary pays Rags…

        I heard that Rags was actually being paid by the Russians. Or . . . erm, the media. Oh, who cares who’s paying him? Rags is clearly the root of all evil, the source of all our problems, the reason that one sock is always lost in every load of laundry, the most powerful man in the entire universe who holds in his giant, all-powerful hands the ability to sway elections, to make Trump suck, to make socks disappear, and to make kittens cry.

        I can’t stand that Rags! What’s with him and his power to control everyone and force us to talk about him all the time? It’s other-worldly. I bet he’s not even from this planet. In fact, I bet he’s forcing me, with his uber-hyper-double-duper brain meld, to write this comment about his abysmal awfulness.

        Shhh, secretly, I think Rags may even be the reason that you always get that one peanut M&M without a peanut. He’s dastardly that way.

      Hey he didn’t give her anything, but he did offer to grab her p***y.

      It’s a bad buy. Not because she won’t win but because everyone knows she will win and bets accordingly.

    girlpower in reply to Ragspierre. | October 26, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    They also had their money on Remain and against Brexit.

To Mark Kirk and anyone else relevant:
The only way to stop Hillary is to make sure that she doesn’t get elected.

You had your chance. You didn’t oppose Obama, you are not got to oppose Hillary, no matter what you say now. You ran away from at the first opportunity.

Read my lips I’m not voting for you or anyone else who is going to screw me over.

    Ragspierre in reply to RodFC. | October 25, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    Then you can’t vote for the Collectivist oligarch, Mr. Establishment.

    It’s that simple. Because whatever else is true, he WILL screw you. Good and hard.

      Henry Hawkins in reply to Ragspierre. | October 25, 2016 at 7:20 pm

      Well, he’s certainly screwing all the downballot GOP candidates by cutting them off financially. Per Hot Air who links from WAPO:

      “Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s national finance chairman, said in an interview with The Washington Post on Tuesday that Trump Victory, a joint fundraising committee between the party and the campaign, held its last formal fundraiser on Oct. 19. The luncheon was in Las Vegas on the day of the final presidential debate…

      “Munchin said the Trump campaign decided to keep the candidate’s final weeks focused on taking his message to the voters in person rather than on raising money. There may be a handful of events in coming days featuring Trump surrogates, including his son Donald Jr., according to people familiar with the internal discussions. But Munchin said “there is virtually nothing planned.”…

      Munchin said Trump does not need high-dollar fundraisers because his campaign is being buoyed by online donations, which he said are on track to hit a new record in October…

      The RNC gets only 20 percent of the money that Trump raises online in conjunction with the party, while the vast majority of the big checks contributed to Trump Victory are routed to the party.”

      (end quote)

      Trump does not play well with others and sees himself as the only ‘member’ of the GOP who matters. He’s gonna lose the Senate majority, out of spite or ignorance.

        Subotai Bahadur in reply to Henry Hawkins. | October 25, 2016 at 7:29 pm

        Keep in mind that the National Party is not helping Trump. As of the middle of October in 2012, the National Republican Party had spent $42 million on campaign ads for Romney. As of the middle of October this year, the National Republican Party had spent $0.00 on ads for Trump. Sauce, Goose, Gander.

        Trump is limited in what he can do. He can’t start a Pac for example.
        However Carl Icahn has started a pac devoted to supporting candidates that support Trump.

        girlpower in reply to Henry Hawkins. | October 26, 2016 at 12:21 pm

        Your story omits the final bit of truth that puts a lie to your entire post. Omitted is the part where according to “The Hill” and others is the fact that it is quite NORMAL for presidential candidates to stop doing party fundraisers at this point in the race so they can concentrate on getting out their message to voters and getting voters to the polls.

        What Trump is doing is EXACTLY what all candidates usually do, but the #NeverTrump idiots you cite are not rational human beings. They are CLINTON supporters. Just like Rags.

      Be the ass all you want, but the fact is that no one needs your vote whereas where I live every GOP vote is important. Which means my vote is more valuable then yours.

      girlpower in reply to Ragspierre. | October 26, 2016 at 12:17 pm

      Except Trump isn’t a collectivist, oligarch, or establishment politician, and your constant repeating of your infantile rants doesn’t make those lies less accurate and untruthful.

Don’t you people get it? Or are you Hillary trolls. There are only two viable candidates in this election. One is Donald Trump, who may screw everyone over. The other is Hillary Clinton, who WILL screw everyone over. So which would an intelligent man choose?

Now, it is far from certain that Hillary Clinton will win this election. The polls are useless, as they are being manipulated by the press and Establishment agents. So, it is entirely possible that Trump is running even with Hill, if not far out-polling her. Fraud, while it will still happen, may be significantly reduced thanks to the prophylactic efforts of the Trump campaign.

So, why are all of these Republicans running on a platform that they are more likely to oppose the actions of President Clinton than are their Democrat opponents? Because they have finally acknowledged that they need the support of the anti-establishment ground-swell now in progress. And, the RNC has access to accurate polls, which probably show that Trump is likely to win. But, the Republican politicians do not want to embrace the political positions espoused by Trump and demanded by the anti-establishment electorate, because they intend to go back to DC and support the Establishment agenda as they have for the last 20 years. So, they run as a check on Hillary, without having to say that the support Trump’s political positions. Gotta love Weasel-mania.

    amwick in reply to Mac45. | October 25, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    Well, for the Michigan Democratic primary, the polls had Hillary +21, but John Podesta knew the race was “tight”. I would love to know what he really thinks now. On second thought, I really don’t care about him.

The bigger question to me is where will the Trump voters go if he loses? Article is mostly so so, but one part stands out.

The polls would be much closer if all Republicans, such as Kasich, Romney, Thune, Ryan, McCain, the Bush clan, Flake, Toomey, Fiorina, and others united behind the nominee chosen by the primary voters. These Republicans have done a disservice to the Republican primary voters and Trump by refusing to help Trump. The refusal to help Trump is also a repudiation of the wishes of the primary voters.
Figuring the Trump voters feel backstabbed after voting for the past republican losses, who will get their votes if they decide to vote again? Because it sure won’t be Bush, Kasich or the like.

I know I personally felt all my votes since Reagan weren’t for someone I personally liked or trusted. But I held my nose and voted for them.
For 2020 I may just decide no one is worth taking the time to hold my nose and go to polls to vote. What if the Trump supporters do the same? Imagine another super majority for the democrats, only it lasts more than one 2 year term.

    Ragspierre in reply to 4fun. | October 25, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    “These Republicans have done a disservice to the Republican primary voters and Trump by refusing to help Trump. The refusal to help Trump is also a repudiation of the wishes of the primary voters.”

    Well, just bullshit. Insisting that people who ALWAYS violently opposed the stinking, lying, PATHOLOGICAL Collectivist thug is a repudiation of the MAJORITY of the conservatives and GOP voters who REJECTED his sorry ass.

      Despite that, how many won’t vote republican again? That was the question.

        tom swift in reply to 4fun. | October 25, 2016 at 6:36 pm

        how many won’t vote republican again?

        Hey, not to worry; if Hillary “wins” this, there won’t be a 2020 election. Oh, there will be a pro-forma sham election, but nobody but the DNC’s anointed candidates will ever win one again. And an administration and Federal judiciary packed with loyal sycophants like Comey and Lynch will see nothing at all wrong with that.

          Subotai Bahadur in reply to tom swift. | October 25, 2016 at 7:33 pm

          Agreed. But the absence of elections does not mean that politics ends. It changes from electoral to other forms. And the GOPe and #NeverTrumpers are not going to be considered as friends or allies of anyone but the Left when that happens. It is what it is.

          Ragspierre in reply to tom swift. | October 25, 2016 at 7:46 pm

          T-rump sucking cultists are never going to be considered anything but voluntary idiots by conservatives.

          Of course, many of us hope for your reclamation.

          It is what it is.

          scooterjay in reply to tom swift. | October 25, 2016 at 8:36 pm


    snopercod in reply to 4fun. | October 25, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    “where will the Trump voters go if he loses?” We’ll be pushing for an Article V convention, of course.

    Mac45 in reply to 4fun. | October 25, 2016 at 9:28 pm

    The polls would not be affected if other Republican politicians supported Trump. Trump id the anti-Establishment candidate and the Establishment Media would still be putting out the same skewed polls.

    If Trump wins, then the anti-Establishment movement will be looking for similar candidates for the Congress in 2018, 2020 and beyond. These same forces might be looking for such candidates even if Trump loses. If we still have a Republic, that is.

    This election is NOT about the candidates, but about ideology. People can either vote to maintain the status quo, with all the negatives that entails, or vote against it. THAT is the CHOICE people.

    Fen in reply to 4fun. | October 25, 2016 at 11:09 pm

    “The bigger question to me is where will the Trump voters go if he loses?”

    I’m going to go work for the Dems and burn the GOP to the ground. I’ve been involved in state and national campaigns for almost 30 years now, so I know where a few bodies are buried.

    After 8 years of Hillary Clinton, the Republic will be dead. And I’ll be damned if the GOP gets away with their treachery.

    PaulM in reply to 4fun. | October 26, 2016 at 9:49 am

    “…Figuring the Trump voters feel backstabbed after voting for the past republican losses, who will get their votes if they decide to vote again?…”

    But how many Trump supporters actually voted for the GOP candidate in 2012 or 2008 – and how many stayed home, or voted 3rd Party, because they were, “Tired of voting for the lessor of two evils?”

    The majority of the Trump supporters I know personally are either former Ron Paul supporters who did not vote for Romney and/or McCain, or are (or were) Democrats or Independents – with mixed records on voting in the last two Presidential elections.

    IMHO, those that held their noses and voted for McCain and Romney are fully justified in feeling betrayed – and I don’t blame them for whatever they do with their votes in the future.

    OTOH, those that refused to vote for the lessor evils McCain and Romney, but now demand support for Trump from those that did, are nothing but hypocrites trying to have it both ways.

    Either refusing to vote for the ‘lessor of two evils’, even if it results in the election of the greater evil, is a principled stand – or it isn’t.

    I didn’t think it was a good thing in 2008 or 2012, and I don’t think it is in 2016. I think Trump is the worst candidate fielded by the GOP in a very long time. I’ll spare you the details of what I think of Trump. But, as bad as I think he is, I think Hillary is worse. So, I’ll hold my nose and vote for Trump.

    That said, I find it disgusting when those that are NeverTrump are attacked by the hypocrites that were NeverRomney and/or NeverMcCain! Of course, short of a confession, there’s no way to know which – if any – of the NeverTrump critics here were once NeverRomney and/or NeverMcCain.

    Trumpism is a dead weight on the GOP.
    Consolidating the white vote is a good idea, but one does not consolidate the white vote by appealing to neoNazis. National populism has very limited appeal in this country. Romney won Caucasians by 20 points, Trump is winning the demographic by 3, and only because he’s running against Hillary.
    Republican Party is poised for de-altRightification after November 8.

      More democrat claptrap. Donald Trump is and will get 16% or more of the Black vote. More than any republican since 1960. Trump will also get more than 30% of the Latino vote. More than Romney or McCain. Trump is getting a huge majority of the Hindu/Indian vote and will get a bigger share of other minorities (Asian etc. than Romney or McCain).

      Trump is NOT a white only candidate. And BTW, being admired and supported by the white working classes is absolutely a good thing. On the par with Angels singing, goodness and light.

      Your democrat talking points in support of Hillary grow more and more tiresome.

      Trump will win by 5% or more on November 8.

It’s disgusting. The GOPe expects us all to fall in line for their lame candidates (McCain?!? Oh, God!), we do, but when the actual citizens choose someone they don’t like, they all need smelling salts and find it beneath their dignity to suck it up and support who someone else chose.

Now that I know it’s a one-way street, well, I won’t fall for it again.

Screw McCain, that illegal alien lover!!!!!! McCain-Feingold unconstitutional pile of CRAP!!!!! That Bush refused to VETO, as he had a constitutional obligation to do!!!!!

    Ragspierre in reply to CloseTheFed. | October 25, 2016 at 7:10 pm

    Wait now.

    IF you voted for McAnus, that was YOUR decision. Nobody MADE you do it.

    I doubt very much that anyone here would have called you a “traitor”, “leftist”, or “asshole” if you’d expressed your reticence, either.

    I’ve been called all that and worse by T-rump sucking cultists right here, on our shoe (as Ed Sullivan used to say).

    Here’s a counter-question for 4Fun: what makes you think independent conservatives will vote for a GOP candidate who is like T-rump EVER? Not just for POTUS, but ANY office?

    You put up Collectivist fluck-sticks like T-rump, and I will ALWAYS oppose them. There are a lot of people like me, too.

      Henry Hawkins in reply to Ragspierre. | October 25, 2016 at 7:23 pm

      (raises hand)

      Probably not enough of us to win an election without the “T rump” voters. You seem to have forgotten I was a Cruz voter. Can you take your hate any farther?

      You’ve mentioned voting your conscience, I haven’t done that since Reagan.
      That will change if hateful hitlery wins. I will be released from voting for the least worst as an effort to stave off the socialist revolution. If an independent seems better that’s who I will vote for after this election.

      Like as not, at least here in Michigan, you had to be registered, and declare a party to vote in the primaries.
      Trump won with 36.5% 483,751, Cruz came in second with 24.9% 330,013 and Kasich third with 24.3% 321,655.
      1,324,621 votes for republicans.
      Despite the enormous money Yeb had (please clap), he only got little more than 10,000 votes and by most accounts he was the preferred republican committees’ candidate. Almost 200,000 votes for the rest after the top three. That’s 600,000 votes on the republican side that could possibly be thrown away. Almost 1,200,000 votes for the d side. Leaves the race much more tightened if those 600,000 decide not to vote or go d.

      If I’m going to see the losers continue to be put up by republicans (Bush, Bush, McCain, Romney? really?) after all the years I’ve voted, it will be never again “least worst”.

        Henry Hawkins in reply to 4fun. | October 25, 2016 at 9:04 pm

        I long ago rejected the ‘lesser evil’ false dichotomies offered every four years. To me it’s like ‘lesser pregnant’ or ‘lesser dead’. Pregnant is pregnant, dead is dead, and evil is evil.

        Conscience and principle are all I have left politically.

I keep forgetting, who is the Republican candidate for President? Who won the nomination? What is the persons name? Vote R, D, I or sit at home, but also understand what a vote for anything other then the R who won the parties nomination will bring. If you’re butt hurt about the current Republican candidate not being yours then suck it up, put on your big boy/girl pants and get the R into the White House. When he is in you then can spend 4 years trying to get him impeached so the R VP takes over or start a revolution in the party so he doesn’t get reelected. But it all starts with getting the R in POTUS, anything else is complete and total suicide for this country.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to scaulen. | October 26, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    Wonderful salesmen, these Trump supporters.

      stevewhitemd in reply to Henry Hawkins. | October 26, 2016 at 1:24 pm

      It’s not a sales pitch so much as it is one way of limiting damage.

      I’m not happy with Mr. Trump. I’d prefer not to be in a position where he’s the only realistic option.

      But Hillary is perhaps the MOST corrupt politician ever put forward by a major party for president. And the events of the last several years suggests that she, and her coterie, and her most major supporters, view themselves as above the law. I really don’t want her in the office; she’ll decide to act on these impulses.

      So I held my nose firmly and voted for Mr. Trump today. I’m not happy, but I understand the reality of this election.

      What sale? You must have missed the primaries where Trump won and not the other candidates. I supported the other R’s that won the previous primaries, those jellyfish that didn’t even attempt to fight back because they wanted a campaign with dignity and honor. What did that get us? At least this guy has a spine, he stood up to the corporate media, he fought back against Hillary, against the pouting POTUS, the dishonorable FLOTUS and he even defended himself from the other R’s who have been trying to torpedo the election because he’s not one of the good ole boys. He has survived with being portrayed as a racist, sexual predator, alt-right, anti-military, warmongering button pushing buffoon. The fact that so many different insider groups are attacking him tells me he’s the person to help burn down DC and maybe just maybe drain the swamps of the vile bullshit we have been putting up with.
      You’ve got Democrats creating new laws, re-writing laws and using the Pen of Power to help themselves and all the R’s have done is cry about it. I’m really sick and tired of fighting with courtesy and gentlemanly manners against a bunch of thugs. You do realize that our forefathers picked up arms when all methods of civil discourse failed. They didn’t slink away and pout about the fact that their representative wasn’t the one who was leading the revolution, they fucking stood up grabbed their gear and put action to words. They got behind their leader and showed solidarity. With out that solidarity you don’t win and unless you win you can’t make any changes.

      Stop pouting and man the fuck up and pull the lever for the R, it may be your last chance.

And Now for your further enjoyment.

Michael Moore Predicts Trump Wins On November 8.

“I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I gave it to you straight last summer when I told you that Donald Trump would be the Republican nominee for president. And now I have even more awful, depressing news for you: Donald J. Trump is going to win in November.” says Moore.

FULL | This Speech Will Win Donald Trump The African American Vote! 10/26/16 Trump Charlotte Speech

Among those invited to the Spirit Square event is Leon Threatt, a Republican running for Congress in the 12th District. He’s bullish about Trump’s chances in North Carolina and across the country.

“I’m pretty confident that he’ll win this thing in a landslide,” Threatt said. “And I think we’ll see something similar across the nation. It’s looking real good. And I think the American people are ready for that.”