Voters are about to get a respite from the political attack-ad onslaught: Election Day is tomorrow. That means no more messages from Democrats attacking Republicans over abortion rights or the future of Medicare; no more Republicans blaming Democrats for inflation or crime. At least for a little while.
Adam Laxalt, the Republican candidate for Senate in Nevada, opposes abortion and has called the overturning of Roe v. Wade a “historic victory.” But he has not voiced support for criminalizing abortion for women, as the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee suggests in a TV ad that shows a woman being arrested for having an abortion.
A Republican TV ad accuses Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto of putting her “own financial interests over yours” and “becoming a multimillionaire while in office.” But the claims rely on financial disclosure reports that provide only broad ranges of assets and liabilities and show no evidence of wrongdoing.
Every Democrat – and some Republicans – increased funding earlier this year for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency charged with deporting those living in the country illegally. The Biden administration has directed ICE to prioritize the deportation of immigrants in the country illegally who have committed serious felonies. Nonetheless, an ad from a conservative group misleadingly claims that “every Senate Democrat voted against deporting criminal illegal immigrants.”
In the Wisconsin Senate race, an ad from Republican Sen. Ron Johnson selectively pulls comments made by his opponent, Democrat Mandela Barnes, from an interview days after a deadly attack on police in Dallas. The ad claims Barnes “rationalized violence” against police, but it ignores that Barnes said the killings were “not justified in any way” and that he “denounced” the attack.
In TV and social media ads, Club for Growth Action misleadingly edited remarks by independent Senate candidate Evan McMullin of Utah to make it appear he said that “the Republican base is racist.” In fact, McMullin said “there is an element of the Republican base that is racist,” and that the party’s leaders won’t stand up to them for fear of losing votes.
A super PAC supporting Sen. Lisa Murkowski claims in several TV ads that her top challenger, Kelly Tshibaka, “wants to ban birth control in the mail.” Tshibaka has said she would ban the sale of the morning-after pill via the mail, but the ads leave the misleading impression she would ban all forms of birth control.
Michigan’s Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel said that she was joking when she said in a June speech that there should be “a drag queen for every school.” But a TV ad from a super PAC supporting Republican Tudor Dixon is using a version of Nessel’s quote out of context in a misleading attack against Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
A sheriff featured in an ad defending U.S. Senate candidate John Fetterman accurately states that Fetterman “voted with law enforcement experts nearly 90% of the time” on the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons, and voted to give “a second chance” to nonviolent offenders. But it’s what the ad doesn’t say that may mislead viewers.