The race for the 19th Senate District in North Carolina has taken its long predicted turn for the worse. Anyone who’s had the privilege of being in incumbent Wesley Meredith’s media market in the past four elections saw it coming.
District 19 has been un-gerrymandered by the federal courts and Democratic challenger Kirk deViere has a legitimate shot at beating the Republican party whip. Money is pouring into this race, and Meredith is using the hundreds of thousands of dollars at his disposal to shore up the dam that has kept him in office for nearly a decade.
Before we go any further, let’s take a look back at where it all started, eight years ago. Meredith was elected in 2010 in a brutal campaign that included a TV ad insinuating that Democrat Margaret Dixon was a prostitute. The ad was so brutal that it made national news:
It’s highly unlikely Meredith wants the women of Cumberland County to remember this ad in 2018. Times have changed. This go round, Meredith’s advertisements are a bit more “shiny.” He has attempted to paint Kirk deViere as a pretty boy, with the tag line “Looking Good” spoken by a female voice:
The latest mailer barely fits in your mailbox and has a smattering of pink glitter:
The crab from Moana endorses this ad:
In all seriousness, we’ve yet to receive a positive ad from Mr. Meredith this year. He’s a bit obsessed with Mr. deViere it seems, but trends like this one from political scientist Michael Bitzer justify Meredith’s concerns:
Still, all of the glitter has me confused. It’s not like Meredith doesn’t have a record to run on. His party has been in charge of Raleigh the past eight years, and he’s the majority whip. Voters either like the direction the state is headed, or they don’t. But it’s clear from theses ads that Meredith isn’t going to bother. It’s too easy to attack. Why go through the trouble of defending an eight-year record in Raleigh if you can make fun of how someone dresses?
Perhaps this is a sign of the times: one of Donald Trump’s greatest political tools is the ability to project his own vulnerabilities onto others. If you have a weakness, point it out in your opponent as loud as you can to take the attention off of yourself. This tactic is often effective. With that said, Meredith has a pile of unanswered questions about taxpayers paying his bills. Like most men in power, he won’t ever have to answer them.
I wonder what the women of District 19 think about all of this. There’s only an election at stake.