Illinois state Rep. Robin Kelly is in the news today because she won a Democratic primary election held yesterday in Chicago. She was one of more than a dozen Democrats looking to fill the seat vacated by Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and she came out on top with a little help from a friend: Mike Bloomberg. The New York mayor has thrown his financial support behind Kelly specifically because she's in favor of gun control. (Mayor Bloomberg has been especially vocal about the need for new gun-control laws since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.)
CNN reports that Kelly's chief rival for the Democratic nomination, former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson, cited the nonstop barrage of negative ads against her in her concession speech. "There was $2.3 million dollars minimum spent against me," she said. "Someone timed it. Every seven and a half minutes there was a commercial."
What's remarkable about the negative messaging against Halvorson is not only that it made gun control a central issue, but portrayed the National Rifle Association as an unambiguous villain. For instance, in this spot from Independence USA, a Bloomberg-backed PAC, Halvorson and fellow candidate Toi Hutchinson are criticized for winning "A" ratings from the NRA. "They can't be trusted," a voiceover intones darkly.
Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" columnist for Advertising Age. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.