Boucher's latest ad touts his 'values,' not his party
Is Rep. Rick Boucher a Democrat?
Of course the answer is yes, but you wouldn't necessarily know that from his latest campaign ad, which focuses on the veteran lawmaker's "values" and fiscal conservatism, not his party affiliation.
"He has our values, because for Rick Boucher, Southwest Virginia is home," the ad's narrator intones. "That's why he voted against the health care law -- he knows we simply can't afford it. And that's why he's a leader in the bipartisan effort to balance the budget."
Boucher is locked in a tough reelection race against state House Majority Leader Morgan Griffith (R), and it's common for general election campaign ads to avoid mention of the candidate's party, particularly in swing districts. But Boucher's ad is striking in that -- by focusing on his opposition to the health-reform bill and his support of a balanced budget -- it is indistinguishable from the kind of ad a Republican incumbent might run.
Boucher's previous two campaign ads hit on similar themes, with one focused on his "roots" in the 9th district and the other on his willingness to listen to his constituents and buck his own party.
For their part, Republicans scoff at the idea that Boucher is as conservative or independent as he claims.
"I'd never claim to know what's going on in another person's mind, but it looks to me like Rick woke up one morning in Washington and realized just how far he's strayed from the 9th District's values," Virginia Republican Party Chairman Pat Mullins said in a press release. "Now he's running ads touting the record he SHOULD have had."
Boucher's message makes sense given that 2010 is shaping up to be a very GOP-friendly election year, and he represents a district that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) won by 19 points in the 2008 presidential race. But Boucher has fended off tough challenges before.
The incumbent has a huge cash advantage over Griffith, and the last public poll of the contest gave Boucher a 13-point lead. The nonpartisan Rothenberg Political Report rates the race "Leans Democrat."
September 1, 2010; 5:00 PM ET
Categories: 2010 Virginia Congressional Races , Ben Pershing , Election 2010 , Morgan Griffith , Rick Boucher
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