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Daily Fix Poll: Assessing David Vitter's "serious sin"

When Louisiana Sen. David Vitter (R) acknowledged his involvement in a D.C.-based prostitution ring in 2007, it immediately became clear that he would face a serious re-election race in 2010.

What was less clear at the time was how his eventual Democratic opponent would approach Vitter's personal transgressions in the context of a campaign.

Well, now we have the answer -- and what an answer it is.

Rep. Charlie Melancon (D) launched a television ad on Thursday that goes directly at Vitter's personal conduct.

The ad begins by noting Vitter's involvement in the prostitution ring -- with an image of the Senator and his wife at the press conference in which he admitted a "very serious sin" -- and goes on to detail the more recent charges against a former staffer named Brent Furer who "violently abused his girlfriend", according to the ad's narrator. (An image of a woman with a cut and stiches on her chin is shown on screen.)

"David Vitter....for women, his 'serious sin' isn't even his worst," says the ad's narrator.

Bringing out personal foibles in the context of a political campaign is often delicate stuff with widely varied results. Back in the 2004 Illinois Democratic Senate primary, the unsealing of frontrunner Blair Hull's divorce records destroyed his campaign and opened the door for a little known state Senator named Barack Obama to waltz to the nomination.

But, earlier this year, allegations of marital infidelity against South Carolina state Rep. Nikki Haley wound up strengthening her candidacy considerably and she rolled to the Republican nomination.

For today's Daily Fix Poll, we want to hear your opinion on what the effect of Viter's personal life will be on the race this fall.

By Chris Cillizza  |  August 13, 2010; 2:30 PM ET
Categories:  Daily Fix Poll  
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