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Racist Corker/GOP Commercials Cost the Republicans the Senate

Posted by libhom Thursday, November 16, 2006

Although the corporate media have too strong of a pro-Republican bias to openly acknowledge it, the racist Corker/GOP ads against Harold Ford won the Tennessee Senate Seat for the GOP. However, there were three other very close Senate contents that should be considered.

McCaskill 49.5%
Talent 47.4%

Tester 49.1%
Burns 48.4%

Webb 49.6%
Allen 49.3%

The controversy over the bigoted ads certainly effected the voting behavior of several groups.

1)African Americans: They had every legitimate reason to be outraged, and voter outrage is one of the most effective GOTV motivators around. Also, some black Republicans probably voted for Democrats this time around. The racism of these commercials must have reminded some people in that community (and some other Americans) of the GOP's racist response to Hurricane Katrina.
2)Latino and Asian Americans: Although they wouldn't have been personally attacked by the commercials, discouraging attacking someone for their racial or ethnic origins certainly was in their best interests. The ads may also have reminded some immigrant communities of the racist hysteria behind some of the GOP's immigration rhetoric.
3)Whites who are offended by racism: Many whites thought our country had gotten beyond the kind of racist nonsense in the Corker commercials. They had a rude awakening.
4)People offended by the ugly tone of the campaign: The corporate media tried to act like negative campaigning was equally distributed among Republicans and Democrats. This is absolute nonsense. Democrats ran more positive ads than Republicans. Democratic negative ads tended to focus more on policy differences. Republican negative ads tended to make weird and unbelievable accusations about the characters of Democrats. Swing voters were turned off by the GOP's hateful campaign tone, at least outside of the South.
5)Partisan Democrats: These disreputable ads were tremendously powerful, but unintentional, GOTV tools for Democrats who feel that their party has been treated unfairly by the Republicans for years.

On the other hand, it is unlikely that hardly any racist whites in other states would change which white person they voted for because of anti-black ads in another state.

When you factor in the large African-American populations in Missouri and Virginia, it is obvious that Democratic victories in both of those states were the result of the Tennessee ads. It also is possible that the Corker/GOP racism cost that party Montana too, with the very thin margin of victory for the Democrat.

Desperate Republicans saved one seat in Tennessee only to throw away 2-3 Senate seats elsewhere. They almost certainly lost a few close House elections because of the wildly racist commercials as well.


  1. Anonymous Says:
  2. I agree with this..... mostly. I think you're a hair off the mark in Missouri though-I believe that Rush "Oxy-Moron" Limbaugh probably had more to do with Missouri than any other single factor.

  3. libhom Says:
  4. In a close campaign like the one in Missouri, more than one factor can be considered a tipping point.

    Limbaugh's behavior energized both sides in that state's campaign. You have to remember that the mentality of the Religious Right is completely alien to that of the rest of the country. You have to monitor them for some time to figure it out. The tricky part is figuring out which side was energized more.

    In any case, Talent would be history in the absense of the Tennessee commercials. If Limbaugh behaved like a decent human being, it is also possible that Talent would have won.



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