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Today’s Political Ad Watch: Giannoulias and Carnahan

As Obama’s approval rating has slipped beneath the 50 percent mark and stubbornly refused to climb back up, many candidates up for reelection in tight races or swing districts have suddenly discovered cute scheduling conflicts when the president has shown up in town to raise money from the party faithful. Not so for Senate hopeful Alexi Giannoulias (D-Ill.), however, who’s releasing an ad tomorrow that is basically one long endorsement from Obama:

Despite the close nature his race against Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Giannoulias’ choice still makes sense. He’s running for the Senate seat once held by Obama, and despite the president’s falling numbers, he still retains a slight majority of support from voters in his home state.

In states with less inherent affection for Obama, however, the approach has been quite different. Take Missouri, where Senate candidate Robin Carnahan (D-Mo.) isn’t just borrowing a Tea Party tactic in attacking Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) over his support for the bank bailout, she’s also actively distancing herself in her new ad from the president and the House speaker:

The tactic might seem extreme and maybe even counterproductive, but in a state in which a ballot proposition attempting to invalidate a key measure of Obama’s health care reform bill passed overwhelmingly last month, it may be Carnahan’s only hope.

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