Holden’s 2010 Race Vs. 2012, in One Picture
Need proof that Rep. Tim Holden is facing a very different challenge in 2012 than he did in 2010? Look no further than his campaign ads. One was cut last cycle when he was a Democrat running in a Republican-leaning district; the other as he is a blue dog Democrat running in a liberal district.
Holden’s current district has a Partisan Voting Index of Republican+6. The new 17th district, which includes the cities of Easton, Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, has a PVI of D+4.
He’d been a heavy GOP target over the past decade, but always managed to beat the numbers. Now, he’s facing a primary challenge from Lackawanna County attorney Matt Cartwright.
Cartwright campaign manager Shane Seaver criticized Holden’s latest ad, which began airing today.
“Mr. Holden claims he ‘stood with us,’” Seaver wrote. “Unfortunately Mr. Holden voted to extend the Bush Tax Cuts for the 1% in 2010, helping millionaires and corporations avoid paying their fair share.”
“Perhaps the most glaring example of Mr. Holden’s attempt at political ‘repositioning,’ is the ad’s reference to ‘the Republicans. Tim Holden’s past campaigns have never mentioned, far less criticized the G.O.P.”
The actual content of the ads aren’t that different (aside their use of the same stock footage). Both emphasize Holden’s work for military families and veterans. The latest one, however, hammers home a few more Democratic issues – like Social Security and Medicare.
Holden’s campaign defended the spot, and swung back at the Cartwright campaign.
“Tim Holden has consistently represented the values of the hard-working men and women in this country, no matter what the party breakdown of his district happens to be,” said Holden campaign manager Eric Nagy. “Whether it was protecting American jobs by voting against NAFTA or standing up for organized labor by maintaining a 92% lifetime AFL-CIO voting record throughout his career, Tim Holden has been a fierce advocate for American workers.”
“Frankly, I don’t think the Cartwright campaign is winning over the hearts and minds of Democratic voters by constantly attacking a fellow Democratic Congressman. The multitude of local and county Democratic committee (or as Cartwright would call them, “rank and file“) endorsements, Tim Holden has received, prove that Democrats aren’t buying our opponent’s rhetoric.”