Democrats target Wall Street as new Election 2010 bogeyman
Ads that tie Republicans to Wall Street are boosting early voting returns for some Democrats in Election 2010.
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This cycle has had more than a few – think China, demon sheep, and even witchcraft. But as election day 2010 comes into view, it turns out the biggest bad guy of all is Wall Street. Of the million or so ad airings in House and Senate races, roughly 15 percent have focused on the high-flying investment sector of lower Manhattan. That's the largest of any single topic, according to the Wesleyan Media Project, which tracks election ads.
As we get closer to Nov. 2, the trend is accelerating, says project co-director Michael Franz. As the actual vote approaches, he says, Democrats are trying to gain leverage with voters. “It makes sense that they would try to paint Republicans as being in cahoots with the big banks that brought on all the financial trouble so they can send the populist message they want voters to hear,” says Franz, who is an associate professor of government at Bowdoin College.
Democrats need a scapegoat, says political consultant Jerry Kremer, who spent 23-years in the New York Assembly. “Wall Street is the new enemy for now to help them get out from under all the anti-bailout sentiments,” he says. The most effective ads are specific, he adds. Take, for example, the race for New York State Controller. The Democratic candidate Thomas Dinapoli is making hay out of the fact that his Republican opponent Harry Wilson’s firm invested millions in the sub-prime mortgage market – a sector widely viewed as rife with fraud.
“It can’t just be a general swipe at money,” says Mr. Kremer. “The ad has to actually tackle who made what and from which investment.”