Closing Arguments on the Iowa Airwaves

Candidates seize TV screens of Iowa families in lead-up to Monday

The final carpet bombing of campaign ads before Monday’s the Iowa caucuses has been hammering the state’s airwaves.

The leading campaigns and PACs of both parties are pouring cash into network ad lineups with their final message to voters in the Hawkeye State. The spots from each candidate and candidate-aligned committee paint a picture of the state of the race headed into the caucuses, demonstrating whom each candidate  thinks is their chief adversary, and who is feeling confident headed into this first major contest of 2016.

Donald Trump — ‘Clear Difference’

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Trump, in command of the media conversation and social media from his entry into the 2016 contest, has spent far less on traditional TV ads than his top-tier adversaries. Nevertheless, the mogul has put out ads in Iowa blasting Texas Sen. Ted Cruz on immigration. Trump’s decision to target Cruz with his modest television resource commitment betrays a real fear of his rival.

Ted Cruz  ‘New York Values’

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In the final leg of the race to the caucuses, it became abundantly clear that in order to win the state, Cruz needed to become the first GOP candidate to successfully grapple with Trump. This ad touts the traditional values dear to Republican voters in Iowa and looks to paint Trump as totally untrustworthy as a social conservative.

Marco Rubio  ‘Life’

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Sensing possible weakness in Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has made pandering to evangelical voters in Iowa the focus of his final push in the Hawkeye State. Rubio uncharacteristically quoted Scripture in the last GOP debate before the caucuses, and his final ad highlights his commitment to the pro-life issue.

Right to Rise (Bush-Aligned Super PAC)  ‘Broken Promise’

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“Broken Promise” continues the merciless theme of hammering Rubio as untrustworthy that has characterized most spots from the pro-Jeb Bush Super PAC. The group has spent nearly $22 million hammering Rubio in early states like Iowa, according to recent reports.

Our Principles PAC (Anti-Trump Super PAC)  ‘Tough Questions’

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The new super PAC “Our Principles” only emerged in the past several weeks. The project is spearheaded by Establishment Republican operatives who worked on Mitt Romney’s 2012 bid and is solely dedicated to taking down the resilient GOP front-runner, Donald Trump. This spot adds another shooter to the circular GOP firing squad of immigration-related attacks.

Bernie Sanders  ‘American Horizon’

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True to his remarkably credible effort to avoid waging a negative campaign, the final ad from primary Clinton-contender Sanders takes an inspirational tone in an attempt to drive turnout among supporters of the Vermont senator.

Hillary Clinton — ‘Make a Difference’

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Paralleling Sanders, Clinton is out with her own final pitch hitting motivational and purely positive notes. While Hillary has been more aggressive than Sanders in smacking her opponent, her campaign knows it must tread lightly around the popular Vermont senator. Clinton will be looking to maximize her turnout on Monday to eek out a win over Sanders and prevent a possible one-two punch from him with wins in Iowa and New Hampshire.

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