Military Theme Dominating Iowa Senate Campaign Air War

Republican Joni Ernst is up with a second TV ad for the general election, see below. It’s “a 30-second spot called “Service.” It features the candidate herself saying: “I believe in service and Iowans helping Iowans. During emergencies like floods, people don’t ask if you’re Republican or Democrat. They just need help. Leading convoys into Baghdad, I focused on one thing: Complete our missing and bring every one of my soldiers home. And that’s what we did.” 

Ernst has switched her campaign theme of “mother, soldier, conservative” for the GOP primary to “mother, soldier, independent leader” in the general in an effort to reach swing voters.

For his part, Democrat Bruce Braley’s 3rd ad is designed to tug at the heart strings and also includes something of a military theme.

The 60-second spot is called “My Daughter” and features a Dubuque resident, Jesse James, “talking about his daughter, Holley Lynn James, an Army nurse who was the victim of domestic abuse then killed by her estranged husband in 2008.
James says Braley introduced legislation that would help people who were victims of sexual assault in the military.

The bill never came out of committee. Instead, the Braley campaign is using the theme to claim credit for actions taken by the Pentagon.

The Braley campaign says the Pentagon in 2012 announced directives that implemented several provisions of the act, including requiring sexual assault allegations be immediately reported to senior commanders.

Certainly, domestic abuse is a serious issue, in the military and out, but this round of military-themed ads looks to be advantage Ernst if for no other reason than she’s actually pictured wearing the uniform herself, as well as leading soldiers in Iraq.