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Courtesy of the daily Tennessean(can be found on tennessean.com)

Corker runs most ads of any U.S. Senate race

Ford: Number of commercials is sign of desperate campaign


Staff Writer

When the commercials come on for Republican Bob Corker or Democrat Harold Ford Jr., Nashville voter Sarah Taylor Holly switches the channel or mutes the volume.

She can't even guess the hundreds of times a U.S. Senate candidate commercial has flashed on her television screen, but she thinks it's unusually high — and more often than not, it's a Corker ad.

She's on to something.

A new report by Nielsen Media Research says that Corker has aired more ads this election season than any other candidate in 11 key U.S. Senate races.

"It's the same thing over and over again," said Holly, a retired writer and editor. "I could quote them from memory."

The Nielsen Media report says Corker aired 12,007 commercials on local television channels statewide from Aug. 1 to Oct. 15, compared with Ford's 7,239 commercials. Of the 23 candidates in the 11 races that Nielsen ranked, Ford's volume of ad buys came in sixth.

"Both of those are definitely heavy advertising schedules," said Lyn Plantinga, station manager at the NewsChannel 5 Network.

The number of commercials does not include those paid for by independent committees, which are spending millions on the race. The pace of advertising spending continues to pick up with at least four new commercials that began airing Thursday.

Corker spokesman Todd Womack said that Corker's lead in commercials is because the survey period included the last 72 hours of the Republican primary, when Corker heavily advertised.

"The two campaigns, when you include outside entities, have been on parity for the past couple of weeks," Womack said.

With four days to go until the election — and tens of thousands of Tennesseans having cast early ballots — Corker appears to be pulling ahead in the closely watched race, according to two independent polls this week.

But Ford said a slew of negative ads by his opponent shows that Corker is the one desperate for a win. A Reuters-Zogby poll released Thursday showed Corker with a 10-point advantage, leading 53 percent to Ford's 43 percent. The telephone poll of likely voters had a margin for error of plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.

It is the second survey this week to show Corker with more than 50 percent support. A CNN poll showed Corker leading 52 percent to Ford's 44 percent, but the Ford campaign dismissed the CNN poll as being flawed.

"We feel good about where we are in this campaign," Ford said in a telephone-conference call with reporters Thursday. "Our internal polls continue to show us with a narrow lead."

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has spent double the amount projected in the Tennessee race, said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., committee chairman.

"We think Tennessee is neck and neck," Schumer said.

Ford said Corker's infusion of another $1.35 million of personal money — putting his personal total this election at $2 million — to underwrite more commercials is another sign he is behind.

"It is clear, not only will my opponent spend anything, he will absolutely do or say anything to win this Senate seat," Ford said. •

my thoughts

I am tired of seeing these everytime I turn on the TV, Corker's face is everywhere! This actually has a negative effect for me personally. I see this as a desparate attempt for my vote. Corker is worth 200 million dollars, so he is trying to buy on spot for a Senate seat. He doesn't have my vote and will be glad when these ads go away. The other night I saw 7, yes 7 in a 15 minute span.

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local government ads are always borderline hillarious due to how bad they are. They're just as annoying up here in London with our municiple elections.

I have seen numerious anti-Devos ads. The "not qualified" one with the doctor operating with a toilet plunger, and the state's fattest man leading a fitness class while scarfing a donut was so-bad-it's-funny.

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Here in Tennessee there is a state senate race between Bob Rochelle,a former senator (D) against Mae Beavers ® the current senator.

Beavers ad has a cartoon Rochelle in a black and grey Superman-type suit. He is called "The Prince of Darkness".

Rochelle has citizens talking about Mae. She was known to get mad and this man says : I am tarrrrrrrred of her fits! The word fits is pronounced with several syllables.

So funny I am surprised Jon Stewart hasn't had them on the Daily Show.

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