Republican Joni Ernst broke out of the Iowa Republican primary pack with an ad in which she compared her past work castrating hogs with her pledge to cut federal spending. The tag line: “Let’s make them squeal!”
In the general election for Iowa’s U.S. Senate seat, Ernst has tacked leftward, putting aside the harsh talk of cuts in favor of softer talk regarding jobs, schools and health care.
But in the home stretch, Ernst is going back to what brought her here: the pig pen. And it’s just as edgy as the first.
Ernst Takes Pigs into the General Election
Surrounded by pigs, Ernst says to the camera, “…it stinks. Not this lot. I’m talking about the one in Washington.” She lambastes politicians “hogging, wasting and full of …” then she lets a pig’s squeal leave the scatology implied.
By returning to her message of spending cuts and balanced budgets, Ernst and her political consultants may have concluded she’s done all she could to appeal to the sliver of persuadable, undecided voters, and she needed to do something to boost conservative base turnout in what is expected to be a close race.
Braley and Ernst: A Battle of the Bases
Similarly, her Democratic opponent, Representative Bruce Braley is playing to his base in the final days, airing an ad pledging to expand Social Security benefits.
This is not a race where both candidates are using the same poll-tested language and blurring their ideological differences to win the hearts of swing voters. This is a battle of the bases in a state where President Obama won twice, where the governor is Republican and where the two sitting senators are on opposite ends of the ideological spectrum.
All bets are off.