It's no secret that the incumbent party doesn't have much of an edge this election season, unless their constituents have magically found nothing to complain about. That's why this year, the incumbent Democrats are wising up and intentionally neglecting to mention their party affiliation in their campaign ads. Democratic consultant Hank Sheinkopf told the Times, “So why would you mention that you’re a Democrat? The smarter thing to do is, don’t tell them what kind of party you are, tell them what you’re going to do." And above all, be the fun guy they want to get a beer with!
Representative Michael McMahon, who represents Staten Island and Brooklyn, focuses on how he voted against the Health Care law in one campaign ad, saying it hurt Staten Island hospitals. Senator Kristen Gillibrand notes, “I took on my own party to end automatic pay raises for Congress." Chuck Schumer simply says he will "fight for the middle class." Even the Republicans are getting in on it, with Carl Paladino adhering more to Tea Party ideas, much to the Republican's chagrin.
While this may be confusing for lazy voters looking to vote down party lines and not think twice, the trend could actually encourage voters to pay attention. Former state Republican chairman and Andrew Cuomo supporter J. Patrick Barrett said, "Sure, I’m a Republican. But this year it can’t be about politics. It’s about fixing what’s broken." FINE, but next year can we go back to not fixing stuff?