Why are the presidential candidates spending so much time raising so much money? To buy TV ads. In Ad Watch, we review the results of their heroic efforts as they come out. Today: Scott Brown takes on Elizabeth Warren's family tree, President Obama mocks Mitt Romney's "47 percent" tape, and Romney says Obama can't even control Nancy Pelosi.
The Ad: Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, "Who Knows?"
The Issues: If you can't trust Elizabeth Warren on her great-great-great-grandmother's cultural heritage, what can you trust her on?
The Message: In the spring, conservative blogs noticed that Warren had been listed as Native American in university listings, even though she has blonde hair. Warren's struggle to respond to the story made it even bigger news, as when she explained that their heritage had always been part of family lore, like that her pa-paw had "high cheekbones." The issue had sort of died down, but Brown brought it up again in their first debate last week. It's a way of suggesting she's both unethical and an affirmative action beneficiary.
Who'll See It: Massachusetts TV viewers.
Who It's For: Brown was polling ahead of Warren for much of the year, but several recent polls put her in the lead. Perhaps Brown is going for wavering Democrats? A survey from the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling found that Warren's favorability rating has improved in the last month. Her new lead in PPP's poll came from Democrats backing her by a much wider margin than they were a month ago.