WASHINGTON —The battle for Illinois’ 10th Congressional District is dramatically escalating as Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., and former Rep. Bob Dold, R-Ill., launch the first televised ads of their campaigns for the north suburban House seat.
The 30-second spots are running on cable and digital platforms and reveal sharply different strategies. (View the ads below)
What the ads have in common is both avoid mention of actually being a member of Congress. The Schneider team does not say he is currently in the House. Dold’s spot does not say he used to be a member.
Perhaps that’s because of the record low opinion folks have of Congress. A June Gallup poll found only 7 percent have “quite a lot” or “a great deal” of confidence in lawmakers.
The decision by the Schneider and Dold campaigns to run paid ads comes in the wake of two outside groups already pouring in $1.59 million in spots to bolster Dold.
Dold’s ad started on cable and digital outlets on Aug. 26 and runs through Sept. 22. The spot hits on jobs, education, mass transit and “affordable” college. There is no mention of any social issue or that Dold is a Republican.
In contrast, Schneider’s spot, launched on Tuesday also on cable and digital and scheduled to run a few weeks, not only highlights that he is a Democrat — he actively seeks to own it.
Schneider also touts his support of abortion rights and gay marriage in the ad and deplores “tea party obstruction.”
Both ads were shot “on location” in the 10th. Dold’s spots include scenes shot at EMCO Chemical Distributors Inc. in North Chicago and on a beach near Lake Bluff. Schneider is seen leaving his Deerfield house and winding up at Max and Benny’s, a Jewish-style deli in Northbrook.
Dold narrowly lost to Schneider in 2012 after serving one term.
In a race in this independent-minded district with a Democratic tilt,Dold needs crossover Democrats to win.
That’s probably a reasonDold is downplaying his being a Republican. His campaign decided a reminder that Dold was Republican congressman is not useful at this point.
Schneider’s spot is laying the groundwork for what I am guessing will be more to come — to frame Dold as a former lawmaker from the “tea party” wing whoGOP leaders can count on to be a reliable Republican vote.
Likewise, the Dold camp will tag Schneider as a rubber stamp for Democratic leaders.
The 10th Congressional District is full of Republicans who consider themselves moderates. While moderate Republicans are a vanishing breedin Congress, the 10th is stocked with GOP moderates who support abortion rights and do not relate to the tea party faction of the GOP party at all.
A few hours after the Schneider campaign released the ad, an email fundraising appeal followed — using for its pitch how brave Schneider was for emphasizing he was a Democrat in his ad.
“For starters, I come right out and say it: I’m a Democrat. Washington pundits will say I shouldn’t advertise that I’m a Democrat — that we’re locked in a dead heat and shouldn’t take the risk. But I don’t want to be one of those candidates who hides their party,” the email stated.
Risky? Really? If this spot highlighting Schneider being a Democrat was in any way risky, it wouldn’t exist.
And later Tuesday, the Dold campaign reacted to the Schneider ad, swatting at him for “deliberately” leaving out that he is the incumbent.
“After voting with Nancy Pelosi 90 percent of the time, Congressman Schneider’s own ad reminds everyone how enthusiastically he embraces blind partisanship and rejects the independent-minded leadership the 10th District enjoyed under Mark Kirk and Bob Dold.”
Dold’s media consultant is Andy Sere with DMM. Schneider’s ad maker is Adelstein/Liston, helmed by Eric Adelstein and Ann Liston.
My larger point is I see how the narrative is starting and will be developed in the campaign paid advertising.Schneider is embracing his being a Democrat and Dold is running from his identity as a Republican. Both make sense for the candidates.
That is, for now.
Below, the Schneider ad script . . . “Together” Transcript:Here’s the thing.To me, being a Democrat means we can’t let “We the People” turn into “We the Few.”It means tea party obstruction has to stop.Being a Democrat means we should lower the tax burden on the middle class.It means we have to protect a woman’s right to choose and every person’s right to choose whom to marry.I’m Brad Schneider and I approve this message because we’re all in this together, accountable to each other.We can still accomplish great things.Below, the Dold ad transcript . . .Who’s to blame? Washington’s favorite question.Bob Dold says, just fix it.
‘It’s putting the people first, in front of the politics.’
Running a small business, raising three kids, Dold knows we’ve got problems to solve.
‘More jobs are leaving, uncertainty around retirement, cost of education.We need to make sure that there’s a level playing field.’
Bob Dold’s plan: Job training for the unemployed. Improve mass transit. Make college more affordable.
‘Washington should be trying to make it easier for you. I’m Bob Dold and I approve this message.’