Scratch 'n Sniff Mailers: Loretta Sanchez Smells Bad

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The Hotline reports that, in the ethnically charged race for California's 47th congressional district, scratch 'n sniff mailers are being deployed to insinuate that incumbent Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D) is smelly:

Assemb. Van Tran (R) "is sending out a scratch-and-sniff direct mail piece attacking" Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D) "that features a hideous odor emanating from it."

The mailer: "Open for a fragrance sample of 'Loretta, The Scent Of Washington.'" The mailer, on the inside: "Something smells rotten about Loretta. It's the stench of Washington." "Below that is the scratch and sniff panel."

It's an unconventionally Pavlovian way to attack one's opponent: associate a bad smell with a photo of the incumbent. Perhaps this will break through on unconscious levels where the one-dimensional rhetoric of traditional TV, radio, mailers, and robocalls sometimes fails.

UPDATE: A GOP aide informs me that "it is a horrible odor--like a combination of 5 or 6 of the worst possible scents you can imagine."

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Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

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