Oregon: Smith, Merkley Trade Barbs in New TV Ads

Posted September 30, 2008 at 6:34pm

Locked in a tight race, Sen. Gordon Smith (R) and his Democratic challenger this week each began airing new TV ads — and neither had anything to do with the nation’s economic crisis.

Smith’s ad seeks to take advantage of the “F” grade his challenger, state Speaker Jeff Merkley (D) got from the Oregon Farm Bureau. The narrator in the ad calls Merkley a captive to the interests of Portland at the expense of the rest of the state and listed some of Merkley’s votes that farmers and loggers opposed.

“All of Oregon needs a voice, not just Portland,” the narrator concludes.

Merkley’s ad has five different women talking about the issue of abortion rights — Merkley’s support and Smith’s opposition.

“Over and over Smith votes to take away our fundamental right to choose,” one of the women says.

Recent polls have shown the race to be essentially tied.