There’s actually a pretty easy way to find out what each side in any election thinks about their chances and that is to take a look at their campaign ads. For example, if they are still playing to their “base” 86 days before the election, they are in no way confident of winning. On the other hand, if they are trying to appeal to everyone, they know they have their “base” voters sewn up, which means they know they at least have a chance.
Before I start this analysis, I’ll warn you; I am in Arizona, so I can only see the campaign ads shown here. That means I can evaluate national ads from Biden and Trump, as well as the ads from the senatorial campaign between incumbent (because Republican governor Doug Ducey appointed her to John McCain’s old seat after she lost her 2018 election to Kirsten Sinema) Martha McSally and Gabrielle Giffords’ husband, Mark Kelly.
Let’s start with the presidential side. On the one hand, Biden’s campaign ad appeal is to the average American, reminding them of the issues that actually are important and promising to do better on those. Most of his ads include promises to bring back jobs, but “jobs of the future.” He is also very specific about what he plans to do to wipe out coronavirus, which is a lot better than simply encouraging people to go back to work and to restaurants and bars and passively encouraging them to not wear masks. Biden promises he would act faster and make sure everyone had the tools they needed to do their job of treating COVID patients. He also pointedly promises to restore the White House Pandemic Office, which Trump himself eliminated before the pandemic hit, for no clear reason.
On the other side, we have Trump’s ads, which all seem intended to scare the public about Joe Biden. They are classic Republican scare ads. One features an old lady being menaced by “gang members” (obviously Black or Hispanic) and getting put on hold when she calls 911, all because Joe Biden “defunded the police” in her town. There are very few people these types of ads would appeal to. No one thinks Biden either can or will completely defund police to the point that 911 would suffer. No one believes anyone wants to eliminate police funding, except perhaps the dummies in Trump’s “base,”
There is a similar ad, featuring what seems to be a single mother and a young child being frightened enough to hide under a bed to avoid the bad guys, who are trying to enter their home. Once again, we are told that we can’t possibly survive a Joe Biden presidency because he would decimate the police forces around the country. Again, the implication is absurd. For one thing, very little money for local law enforcement comes from the federal government. For another, the feds have no say with regard to state and local regulation of police.
Between Biden and Trump, Biden seems to be solid with his message, while Trump’A ads seem more desperate and pathetic. How many people really think Joe Biden is in favor of actually completely defunding all police everywhere? That might appeal to Trump’s cultists, but Biden has a 50-year record as a politician, so looking at his record might help.
Unfortunately, in the Senate race, we effectively have a solid life-long Democrat against a Republican Trump-clone. Martha McSally seems to have given up most of her obvious, early-campaign pandering to there Trump cultists, but she still has the Orange One’s tendency to eschew bragging about his own record in favor of trashing the opponent. When you look at Mark Kelly’s ads, he barely acknowledges McSally; instead, his ads all tell us what he plans to do if he wins. His tag line has been, “We have enough Washington Senators; I’ll be a Senator for Arizona. In a couple ads, he even promises to wrk with Democrats and Republicans to get things done. In other words, his ads contain messages that show a strong influence from his wife, Gabrielle Giffords.
On the other side is Martha McSally, who has a variety of ads, some of whom pat her n the back for her great work on the coronavirus, which means she voted YES on the CARES Act, written and passed by Democrats. At no point does she chide the current administration for its failure to deal with the pandemic, even though Arizona has been one of the biggest U.S. hotspots for the virus since the poorly attempted “reopening,” which McSally was strongly in favor of and excited about.
McSally, by way if the NRSC, is also trying to hit Kelly on his “massive investments” in China, which is not only untrue, it’s hypocritical, since McSally also invests significantly in China. Of course, the NRSC and McSally are also hitting Kelly for taking $15 million in funding from Arizona taxpayers and promising hundreds of jobs that never materialized, and claiming that Kelly “ripped off” taxpayers.
Here is the story, according to the Arizona Republic newspaper:
The concern revolves around Kelly’s investment ties to World View Enterprises, a Tucson-based company that uses balloons for launching lower-altitude “stratollites” for commercial and governmental mapping and surveillance. It also has planned to offer public rides to the edge of space.
Kelly has been listed as a co-founder of the company. The company has had a bumpy path in its efforts to grow and provide a significant economic impact in southern Arizona, despite millions in taxpayer support. Public records show Pima County officials spent about $15 million to build facilities for its operations in the hope the company would produce significant economic impact. More than four years later, the company has yet to meet its employment targets. It had about 125 employees before the coronavirus pandemic forced cutbacks, said Ryan Hartman the company's CEO. He said the company plans to restore its workforce after the pandemic and continue growing. "We are on the upswing," he said. World View's long-time investors include Tencent Holdings, a Chinese tech company that operates the WeChat messaging and social media service that is among the world's largest. And like other tech companies in China, it has close working ties to the ruling Communist Party in Beijing. Tencent has sought to expand its relations with American tech firms, a move that has raised national security concerns that the Chinese government could be surreptitiously gathering information using American technology. (Source: https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/elections/2020/05/14/senate-elections-2020-mark-kelly-business-ties-chinese-tech-firm-under-fire/5187587002/)
Put simply, there has been no rip-off, at least by Kelly. The Pima County Board of Supervisors decided to make sure the Tucson Spaceport was built (it was) and the coronavirus cost World View some jobs, like virtually every other business in the state. But it has to be hard for an unelected Trump-cultist Senator whose record is as thin as McSally’s to sound believable when she promises to do great things, so the only thing left is to attack Mark Kelly. And when it comes to the modern GOP, the attacks don’t even have to be plausible, let alone true.
The ads show the GOP to be desperate, but once more, I must reiterate, this is no time to get happy and believe in our chances. We still have to turn out more voters than we ever have before and be as pro-Democrat as we have ever been. The votes still have to be cast and counted, so no chicken counting, folks. We have to WIN this time.