If you have any interest in which party controls the United States Senate, then you are interested in the Tennessee race between Marsha Blackburn and Phil Bredesen.

And so are a lot of other people.

That's why you will continue to see new political ads daily.

Senate nominees begin work for November election

U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, left, and former Gov. Phil Bredesen are the Republican and Democratic nominees for the U.S. Senate race. (Photos submitted)

"We are going to see more ads than we have ever seen in a United States Senate race, but it is up to you to do your research,” said MTSU political science professor Kent Syler, News4’s political analyst. “A lot of times they will give you a little snippet of truth that may takes about 10 seconds to say, but takes 10 minutes to explain where they got it. There is an old adage in politics that if you're explaining you're losing.”

For example this line in an ad, "Marsha Blackburn has taken pay raises seven times and gave herself tax payer funded health care for life" is only somewhat true.

"I think we all assume that our members of Congress are going to get paid and then the pay raise deal is also complicated," said Syler.

And the line, "It's not surprising Phil has supported liberal elites, donating almost a half million dollars to their campaigns.”

That is also only somewhat true.

"Sometimes they are 98 percent false and sometimes they are just a little misleading," said Syler.

"The First Amendment gives both campaigns and political action committees lots of freedom to say lots of things. It could be 1 percent true and you still can't knock it off the air."

This is going to be the most expensive Senate race in Tennessee history.

"Because of super PACs, there is more money in politics now and there is literally unlimited money to spent on important Senate races,” said Syler.

Most people said they are not impacted by attack ads and feel they are a waste, but Syler said they are proven to be effective.

"Negative ads are designed to make you angry and make you fearful to push your buttons, to get you to go to vote against the candidate that is targeted in the ad,” he said.

Syler said not all attack ads are necessarily bad. Some provide voters with useful information they need to make an informed decision.

Copyright 2018 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


Liz Lohuis joined the News4 team as a general assignment reporter in January 2016.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.