JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — In back-to-back days, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jason Kander has made waves with television ads, including one released Thursday that’s drawn national attention.
The ads come less than a week after the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee decided to pour $1.5 million into Kander’s race against incumbent Sen. Roy Blunt.
On Wednesday, the first ad, “All of Us,” highlighted Kander’s military service. He’s sought to make that a significant part of his campaign, including releasing his military records.
In the ad, Kander also attacks Congressional pay raises Blunt voted for while in office.
“Right now, people are frustrated with Washington and rightly so. For too long, Missourians have had a Senator who is more concerned about enriching himself than fighting for working Missourians,” said Anne Feldman, press secretary for the Kander campaign. “This ad highlights Jason’s vision and his promise to bring a new generation of leadership to Congress that will replace the partisan gridlock and special interest politics of the status quo.”
While state Democrats responded positively to that ad on social media, it was the ad released Thursday that drew national attention and lead off Politico’s daily “Playbook” email.
In the ad, a blindfolded Kander assembles an assault rifle while talking about his positions on gun control. He ends the ad by challenging Blunt to do the same.
The ad was a response to advertising by the NRA challenging Kander’s record on 2nd Amendment issues.
It drew praise from both Republicans and Democrats from around the country.
Best campaign ad of 2016 so far. I support his opponent, but this is well done. https://t.co/3KWlW49IcX
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) September 15, 2016
Peter Stevenson, a video editor for the Washington Post, said it “may be the best ad of the election so far.”
Kander received other good news Thursday when an Emerson College poll showed him leading Blunt by 2 points, within that poll’s margin of error.
But Blunt struck back throughout the day, utilizing his network of Republican supporters to tout the endorsement of a bipartisan group of 57 election officials. The endorsements hit at what Blunt has been trying to portray as Kander’s failure to do his job as secretary of state to oversee elections.