Opinion: Can nudity help a candidate win a House election?

In my column on Wednesday, I recommended a half-dozen political commercials from this year’s Senate campaigns -- the good, the bad, and the silly. But there wasn’t enough room in the print version to list all of this year’s noteworthy ads. Here, for those who just can’t get enough, are a few more worth watching:

Runner up, worst Democratic attack ad: Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) accused his Republican challenger, Rep. Tom Cotton, of voting against federal programs to prepare for pandemics like Ebola. Cotton was the “only one against pandemic response,” the commercial claimed. That’s an explosive charge -- but it’s barely half true. Cotton, who votes against a lot of spending measures, was one of 29 House Republicans who voted no on an early version of the 2013 preparedness bill -- but when the bill came back from the Senate for final passage, he changed his mind and voted yes.

Runner up, worst Republican attack ad: Scott Brown, the Republican Senate candidate in New Hampshire, ran scary clips of Islamic State fighters advancing across Iraq. “Radical Islamic terrorists are threatening to cause the collapse of our country,” he warns. “President Obama and [Democratic Sen.] Jeanne Shaheen seem confused about the nature of the threat.” The next shot shows Brown wearing a camouflage combat uniform, thanks to his service in the National Guard. This ad gives scare tactics a bad name.

Hardball Response: I named Georgia Republican Senate candidate David Perdue’s attack on Democrat Michelle Nunn as one of the worst ads of the year. This week, Nunn’s campaign began airing a commercial that charges Perdue of “outsourcing jobs to places like China and Mexico” in his career as a clothing executive. The commercial quotes a 2005 court deposition in which Perdue, asked about outsourcing, says: “Yeah, I spent most of my career doing that.” Perdue’s campaign says he meant domestic outsourcing, not foreign -- but the deposition includes several references to using factories in Asia. A controversy worth watching.


Bonus nude scene:  If you’ve read this far, you deserve some comic relief.  Remember the Kansas congressman who went skinny-dipping in the Sea of Galilee during an official visit to Israel?  Despite making that splash, Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.) still managed to win reelection in 2012, mostly because the Democratic Party forgot to run a candidate against him.  This time, though, Democrats have found a challenger, and she’s reminding voters of the incumbent’s record of swimming in the buff. “The naked truth is, Yoder voted to cut Medicare for seniors,” an apparently nude couple chirps to the camera. Warning: this commercial is entirely safe for work.

Follow Doyle McManus on Twitter @doylemcmanus and Google+