News & Election Videos

September 15, 2008

"The Lance dance"

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is trying to brand New Jersey Congressional nominee Leonard Lance as a consummate Trenton insider in its first television ad in the Garden State.

The ad is a cartoon of Lance dancing around while a narrator attacks him for having ties to special interests. It is airing on cable within the central New Jersey district.

“Watch Leonard Lance do the old Trenton dance. Dancing to the tune of big oil, pocketing thousands in campaign cash,” a narrator says in the ad. “Lance has those Trenton moves, voting against property tax relief for us, but voting himself a 40 percent pay raise.”

Lance, who served as minority leader in the New Jersey state Senate, is running against  Democratic state senator Linda Stender, who has spent the last seven years in the legislature.  The winner will succeed retiring GOP Rep. Mike Ferguson.

The ads are reminiscent of a memorable, quirky attack ad against Stender during the 2006 campaign when Rep. Mike Ferguson (R-N.J.) called Stender as a “big spender.” According to one recent GOP poll, the attack stuck. In a word-association question asked by the pollster, 15 percent of voters offered “big spender” as their first association with Stender’s name – more than any other answer.

We’ll see if the “Lance dance” will have the same resonance.

UPDATE: Of course, the Stender-spender ads were so successful in 2006 that the Lance campaign has reprised them this election.  Here's the latest incarnation of the ads.