Many Lawmakers Eliminating Word 'Congress' in Campaign Ads

Thursday, 21 Jun 2012 02:31 PM

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With the approval ratings of Congress below 20 percent, some members running for re-election are running ads that avoid mentioning the House and Senate and the fact that they currently work there, The Washington Post reported.

An ad for Rep. Rom Latham, R-Iowa, notes that he has taken “Iowa common sense” to Washington and asks, “How do you go from working in a family seed business in Iowa to fighting for Iowans at the highest levels?” However, the ad does not mention he has served in Congress since 1995, the Post reported.

“They don’t use their title. They don’t refer to their years of service. They don’t show pictures of themselves in committee meetings,” Stuart Rothenberg, a nonpartisan congressional analyst, told the Post. “They have to acknowledge the anger, the frustration. They’ve got to run as agents of change.”

Campaign officials reject the idea that candidates are avoiding their job titles. A Latham spokesman said the ad did not purposely leave out the congressman’s job title and added that the campaign has sent mailers that note a newspaper has named Latham Iowa’s most effective congressman, the Post reported.

Nonetheless, incumbents are running as outsiders.

“When Congress has at best a 20 percent approval rating, it’s pretty hard to run as an incumbent,” Mark McKinnon, a Republican strategist and admaker, told the Post. “The best and only thing candidates can do is to vigorously point out every reason why you are not like the rest of your colleagues.”

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