The general election has begun! And so has the onslaught of campaign ads. Which ones succeed? Which fail? In Ad Watch, we review them as they come out. Today: A mustachioed Arizona congressional candidate tries to get his name out there by shooting a law, Karl Rove's organization begins airing ads in three state races, and Obama insists we've made progress on jobs.
The Ad: Ron Gould, "Straight Shooter"
The Issues: How the Arizona congressional candidate would deal with Washington.
The Message: Gould would deal with Washington by shooting laws. Particularly the health care law, which he blows away in the ad.
Who'll See It: Gould's campaign says it will air on Arizona TV starting Thursday. But it's clear the campaign calculated that with a provocative ad, he could get a little more exposure among the Washington media elite, like BuzzFeed, Think Progress, and others.
Who It's For: Real men and the people who love them, maybe? Also those who don't like Obamacare.
What Everyone Else Thinks: Ron Gould, with his mustache and flat top, is a cartoon. There's even a banjo.
The Effect: The ad is pretty well produced, and despite the absurd bill-shooting scene, it's not too bad. Gould smiles enough to say he doesn't take it 100 percent seriously. The ad should get a lot of pick up. In an era of demon sheep, an attention-getting ad that doesn't make a total fool of the candidate is welcome. A
The Ad: Crossroads GPS, "How"
The Issues: Freshman Montana Sen. Jon Tester's record on spending.
The Message: Tester has voted with Obama 95 percent of the time, the ad says, including on Obamacare and the stimulus. Bonus: This ad exemplifies how the rules about outside groups financing campaign ads has changed. Politico's James Hohmann points out that because the ad was paid for by the non-profit affiliate of the Crossroads Super PAC, it can only urge voters to call Tester and complain.
Who'll See It: The group is spending $866,000 to air the ads in Montana, The Hill reports. It's also airing ads in a New Mexico Senate race and in Indiana, for a combined spending of $1.1 million.
Who It's For: Voters who don't like Obama but might think Tester's okay, even though he's a Democrat.
What Everyone Else Thinks: You can't blame one senator for the national debt.
The Effect: It's a fairly standard political ad -- angry narrator, scary music. It's just interesting to see how Karl Rove is directing his outside groups. C+
The Ad: Barack Obama, "Jobs"
The Issues: The economy has made progress since the financial crisis.
The Message: The ad urges voters to "Tell Congress: We Can't Wait," but it's not meant to actually get people to call their congressman. This is another way Obama's running against the entire Republican Party and a do-nothing Congress.
Who'll See It: This is part of Obama's TV campaign on jobs, which also attacked Mitt Romney's record as Massachusetts governor, that's airing in nine swing states.
Who It's For: Americans who think the economy's getting a little better, even after a bad jobs report. Gallup finds that roughly the same percentage of people saw the May jobs report as "mixed" as saw it as negative. And economic confidence is at a four-year high. Obama wants credit for those warmish economic feelings.
What Everyone Else Thinks: Of course Republicans refuse to pass a Democratic proposal to raise taxes.
The Effect: It's a positive but pretty banal ad. C