Women are front and center in campaign adsAugust 30th, 2012 at 4:40 pm by Jim Shella under Jim Shella's Political Blog
Every statewide candidate in Indiana is currently running a TV that features a woman. Both candidates for governor chose a woman to be his running mate. None of that is an accident.
In the Senate race Democrat Joe Donnelly’s wife is featured in his new ad. Republican Richard Mourdock is also relying on a woman, Lieutenant Governor Becky Skillman. IUPUI Professor Sheila Suess Kennedy says it softens the candidates. “I know that this is going to sound a bit sexist,” she says, “but I think one of the reasons for that is that women are more trustworthy. We are viewed as more credible.”
So in the governor’s race Mike Pence’s wife, Karen. is back for an encore. “Mike will be an education governor,” she says in a new ad. “I should know, I’ve been educating him for years.” Kennedy says Republicans including Pence are trying to overcome a gender gap.
But what about Democrats? “You need to reinforce the advantage you have with women.” says Kennedy. And so John Gregg, who is divorced, enlisted his mother for help. He poses a question to her in his latest ad.
You can expect that campaigns will use polling to determine if the ads featuring women help them to win support. If so, you’ll see more of them. If not, there may be new trends. Maybe ads featuring children.