Democrats are making a political bet that swing voters will make Republicans pay for the shutdown of the federal government.
Sunlight's Ad Hawk database, which tracks political ads and enables smartphone users to identify sources of money behind them, picked up four ads on Thursday by Democratic candidates or political action committees that tie GOP officeholders to the shutdown.
In Virginia, where voters go to the polls Nov. 5 to elect a new governor, Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe is linking his GOP opponent, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, to Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, whose outspoken opposition to the implementation of President Barack Obama's health care bill helped trigger the shutdown. The ad, seen above, notes the large numbers of Virginians who are likely to go without pay checks because of the shutdown.
The Democratic super PAC Majority PAC is running this ad against Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., and this one against Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Fla. Both face competitive races next year, according to the non-partisan Rothenberg Political Report. The Associated Press is reporting that Majority PAC has produced a similar ad against freshman Rep. Dave Joyce, R-Ohio.
In addition, MoveOn.org, a liberal political action group, has produced an ad blaming Republicans in Congress for the shutdown and calling on citizens to demand an end to it.
While GOP activist groups, such as the Senate Conservatives Fund, already have launched ad blitzes around the shutdown, today's Democratic volley was the first sign of a response in the air war — and a further indication of how little incentive either side in the fight has to settle a debate that can produce so much political capital.