Yes, you have seen them here. The airwaves are being saturated with Republican ads. This will become the story of this election - and the Democrats better make it the story right now. This ad is a good start, hope to see it in heavy rotation soon.
I counted the ads during the WOOD-TV morning news yesterday (5-7am): 22 Republican ads (two were the annoying food tax lady), 7 Democratic ads. They are running roughly 3-1 in the GR market at this point, perhaps even more at night - and all contain distortion and disinformation like I've never seen before. It's stunning. And unprecedented. Mark Schauer has the biggest bullseye on his back; I believe there are three separate "shadow group" ads running against him right now, and they running all the time. And have you ever seen so many ads for state-level candidates? In such frequency? In '06 and '08, you might have seen a few, maybe a couple of times. Now, they are dropping a fortune for Republican state legislators.
Republicans mean to own the government, period - and they are doing it with a propaganda campaign that is pure deception on all levels.
Greg Sargent at the WaPo, watching the national ads and the Chamber/Rove ads in particular, put it best:
I've compiled a list below, and the totality is striking. Thus far the media focus has understandably been on the flap over the White House's foreign money charges. But there's another big part of the story that's going undercovered: The scope of the dishonesty and distortion that's flowing from the conservative side of this debate.
Not only are the ads themselves getting widely debunked, but the justifications the groups are offering for the ad onslaught attacking Democrats (that liberals and labor do this too) are also demonstrably false or misleading. We're witnessing a massive disinformation campaign flooding airwaves across the country that could change the outcome of major races and shift the balance of power in Congress, funded by money from undisclosed sources, justified with still more falsehoods and disinformation.
National races, state races, judges - they mean to take it all. And you'd better believe the word "bipartisanship" will be dropped from their lexicon if they are successful. Will this work though? After all, this is the same American public that isn't paying all that much attention to details in the first place - but even so, there has to be a subliminal effect from the constant repetition that cannot be denied.
The only way to fight this at this point is to GOTV. Tell your friends, tell your neighbors, tell everyone you know that usually votes Dem, that we need them more than ever - because if this works, you know the next stop is taking out Obama in 2012.
The Koch brothers are already on that. Don't let them win.
UPDATE: The Wesleyan Media Project has some very interesting numbers on the spending, keep in mind this count only runs through Oct. 7th. Here are the top ten special interest groups, amount spent, and party lean, and this includes all races. For the full table that includes ad count and other info, click here.
Top 10 Interest Group Spenders (9/1-10/7)
Republican Governor's Association $11,776,920 Republican
US Chamber of Commerce $9,051,370 Republican
American Crossroads $5,493,670 Republican
Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies $4,981,160 Republican
60 Plus Association $3,792,200 Republican
American Future Fund $2,544,210 Republican
Bay State Future $2,167,850 Democrat
Americans for Job Security $1,918,430 Republican
Citizens for Strength and Security $1,874,750 Democrat
Club for Growth $1,821,070 Republican
Among the top 10 interest group spenders, Republican- leaning organizations outspent Democratic ones by a margin of over 10:1. Furthermore, 4 of the top 10 group spenders are non-profit 501(c)(4), 501(c)(5), or 501(c)(6) organizations, which are not required to disclose their donors.