New Tone for Senate Campaign?

By: Kim Bedford
By: Kim Bedford

Knoxville (WVLT) - There is now just 21 days left until you choose a new US Senator for Tennessee.

And as we see in this Campaign 2006 report, new ads from the top candidates are focused less on attacks.

Volunteer TV's Kim Bedford spoke with the Corker and Ford campaigns to find out why.

As campaigning time gets shorter and shorter, the candidates say the ads become more and more important.

and right now Corker and Ford both say they want voters to see who they really are and what they plan to do if elected.

"Harold's lived politics, but Bob Corker's lived a Tennessee life," the Corker ad says.

"We shouldn't stay the course like Mr. Corker wants. Even the president's report says we're actually creating more terrorists than we're killing," the Ford ad says.

These are the ads from Senate candidates Harold Ford Jr. and Bob Corker you're probably used to seeing.

Ford Ad: "We need a new direction to win this fight."

Corker Ad: "Harold Ford Jr. grew up in D.C. Bob Corker, in Tennessee."

But some political analysts say the ad attacks are starting to simmer and focus more on the individual candidates.

Corker Ad: "After UT at 25, Bob started a little construction company, eventually employing hundreds."

Not once is Ford mentioned in Corker's new ad.

Corker Ad: "As mayor his energy revitalized Chattanooga. The senate sure needs a man like Bob Corker."

A similar style is recently shown in Ford's campaign.

Ford Ad: "I was asked a few ago, what's a country girl like you doing for Herald Ford, Jr. and I said, we need change."

You won't find Corker in Ford's ad either.

Ford Ad: "It's not about Democrats or Republicans, It's about getting the job done. Harald Ford Jr. is the one for the job."

So why do the ads appear toned down? We caught up with Bob Corker visiting Knoxville today...

"I want people to see that I've lived a life here in Tennessee. I've met a payroll, I've built a business, I've solved community problems," say Bob Corker, Republican Candidate for Senate.

Ford's party says Ford is focusing on how he'll make a difference.

"Despite the fact that some people are Republicans, and some people are Independents and some people are Democrats, they're all for Harold for Senate because he's for change," says Michael Powell, Ford Campaign Senior Advisor.

Political Analyst Mike Cohen says voters want to find out more positive attributes of candidates as Election Day grows closer.

"Both candidates, here in the homestretch, are going to try to present themselves as somebody people would feel proud to have in the U-S Senate, representing Tennessee," says Mike Cohen, Political Analyst.

Harold Ford, Jr. will join Governor Bredesen in Knoxville Wednesday for a prayer breakfast.

Analysts say it's important to remember that most negative ads do not come directly from the candidates, but rather the Republican or Democratic National Committee.

You can bet we'll be seeing new ads popping up more and more now.


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