Even though Peterson, the ranking Democrat and former chairman of House Agriculture, considers himself a conservative and voted against federal health reform, the National Republican Campaign Committee spent $3.2 million in Minnesota on advertisements attacking Peterson and Rep. Rick Nolan, Peterson writes. Peterson said at a fundraiser, "The Republicans are going after me because there's nobody else to go after. I'm the bottom of the barrel." Peterson won his 2012 re-election with 60 percent of the vote, while Obama earned 44 percent of the vote.
But pro-Republican ads have continued to link Democratic candidates to Obama, even if those candidates rarely vote in favor of the president, Peterson writes. "It is a strategy aimed at tying conservative Democrats to a national party viewed with suspicion at home." David Wasserman, a House expert at the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, told her, "It is simpler for voters to connect the dots between a congressman and a president of the same party than to understand nuances those members are trying to convey."
Democrats are "employing a similar strategy against the 14 House Republicans they are targeting," Peterson writes. "A new paid online ad campaign from Democrats blasted House Republicans for stalling on immigration a year after the Senate passed bipartisan legislation." (Read more)