Thursday, July 13, 2006

Breaking: Ford Ad Is Front-Runner In Tennessee

The good news just keeps coming for the Ford campaign as we near the general election.

As the following article from The Hill suggests, Congressman Ford's television ads are playing well with the voters of Tennessee and have put him in a great position to win the election come this November:

Although each of the contenders vying to replace Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) said very different things in their latest television ads, they all used the same basic formula: just the candidate and the camera.

But judging by a survey conducted by Wilson Research Strategies Inc. comparing the ads of Rep. Harold Ford Jr. (D-Tenn.) and Republicans Bob Corker and Van Hilleary, all commercials are not created equal.

The fourth major contender, Republican Ed Bryant, did not have a television ad running at the time of the survey.

Of the 422 individuals polled, 49 percent rated Ford’s ad the most effective, compared to 23 percent for Hilleary and 21 percent for Corker.

Ford’s commercial, which shows the congressman standing in front of the Capitol as the camera pans around him, breaking quickly to illustrate his views on veterans issues, was given a 6.0 out of a possible 10 by respondents when they asked if it was an “ad they would talk about.” Less chatter would occur for Corker and Hilleary’s ads, which were given a 4 and a 4.6, respectively.

Corker’s ad focuses primarily on traditional values, showing the candidate in a flannel shirt with the sleeves rolled up, reflecting on his humanitarian mission to Haiti. It then flashes to Corker in two different scenarios intended to illustrate his focus on family.

Hilleary’s ad, in contrast, features the candidate standing in front of a blank white screen, with only his name and various newspaper articles about his opponents flashing on the screen to his left.

Hilleary plays to the simplicity of the ad, calling Ford and Corker’s ads “fancy.” Hilleary’s ad is the only one reviewed that was openly critical of his opponents.

Republicans surveyed rated the Corker ad as more effective than Hilleary’s.

Hilleary’s ad played most successfully with lobbyists and K Street executives, political and public-relations consultants and political activists, receiving a rating over 6 for effectiveness from these groups. Corker’s ad appealed more to Capitol Hill senior staff and government-relations executives. Ford’s played extremely will with the media and legal professionals.

When asked who would win the election, 36 percent of respondents said Ford would be Tennessee’s next senator. Another 36 percent said they don’t know. Hilleary and Corker were rated 12 and 17 percent, respectively.

Wilson Research Strategies works in partnership with The Hill to produce the Air War feature, e-mailing campaign ads to subscribers to measure their effectiveness among different groups.

There is no question why Congressman Ford's ads play the best among viewers--he is actually talking about real issues that face real people. So far his issues have focused on Iraq, securing our ports, gas prices, and illegal immigration.

On the other side, the Republicans' ads have been filled with nothing but lies and attacks on each other and Congressman Ford. And the Republicans have even openly said that issues such as Iraq are not important to voters.

There is no doubt people are warming to Congressman Ford's new generation of leadership.

192 Days

Days of Congressional Inaction on Ethics

Above is the number of days that have passed since Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty to bribing Congressman.

It is also the number of days in which Congress has failed to pass an ethics reform bill that would limit private travel, ski and golf junkets, and would call for a full disclosure of expenses by lobbyists on members of Congress.

It is time for Congress to step up and pass an ethics reform bill that would do all of the above. In addition, it is time to end the pork barrel spending system as we know it and establish an independent ethics commission that would review ethics complaints against members of Congress.

I am proud Congressman Harold Ford Jr. is fighting for that reform!

Read Congressman Ford's call for reform of the House rules here!