Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., talks to reporters in Baton Rouge, La., on Aug. 20. / Melinda Deslatte, AP
AD SPONSOR: American Crossroads
THE RACE: U.S. Senate
ANALYSIS: American Crossroads, the super PAC that GOP strategist Karl Rove helped found, is up with a new web ad attacking Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., for her ties to Washington, D.C.. Landrieu owns a home in Washington, which is not unusual, but in the current political climate lawmakers have been increasingly vulnerable to attacks that suggests their D.C. ties have untethered them from their home state constituents.
"For years, she's appreciated life on Capitol Hill. Secured an earmark for D.C. schools. Delivered funds for her neighborhood. Earned the praise of D.C. lobbyists. And the support of her Mayor. Mary Landrieu‚?¶for Washington," the voice-over states as the ad displays images of Landrieu appearing at events in Washington D.C. and alongside the city's mayor, Vincent Gray. Gray praises her in the footage shown as "the senator representing the District of Columbia until we become the 51st state of the United States."
The ad, which also includes footage from Fox News, was pulled from YouTube, due to a copyright claim by the network.
Landrieu must win 50% or more of the vote on Election Day or she will be forced into a Dec. 6 run-off with the top two vote-getters on the ballot. The GOP favorite is Rep. Bill Cassidy. Louisiana has tilted more conservative since Landrieu was first elected in 1996, and she will need to appeal to conservative and swing voters for victory.
The residency argument has been used against other vulnerable senators in recent years, most notably Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., who lost his 2012 GOP primary to Richard Mourdock. The attack has resonated more acutely with GOP-leaning voters, and the ad seeks to alienate Landrieu from this group. Further fueling this line of attack are recent news reports that Landrieu does not own a home in Louisiana and is registered to vote at her parents' New Orleans address.
The ad is one of the more effective 2014 attack ads raising the question of residency and Washington connections. But Landrieu -- and her politically connected family name -- are well known and deeply rooted in Louisiana, so it may be harder to disassociate the senator from the state in this particular race.
Regardless, Louisiana remains a Senate race where Republicans are enjoying many advantages. Landrieu is likely to see more incoming attacks along these lines.
By Susan Davis, USA TODAY
Read the original story: Ad watch: Crossroads hits Landrieu on D.C. residency