The ad wars have begun — and they will only continue to grow by millions and millions of dollars.

In surveying the candidates’ early ads in the seven Senate races we rate as competitive (Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Montana, Ohio and Wisconsin), a few trends have stood out.

Vulnerable Democratic incumbents, eager to distance themselves from the polarizing presidential contest, are stressing their bipartisan credentials, specifically their support of the PACT Act, a 2022 bill which passed the Senate 86-11. The bill, which was signed by President Biden, expanded health care benefits for veterans exposed to toxic burn pits in Afghanistan and Iraq and Agent Orange in Vietnam.

Democratic senators’ efforts to burnish their bipartisan credentials make sense, given they are running in heavily Trump states (in the case of Tester and Brown) or swing states where Trump is leading or effectively tied with Biden.

One of Montana Sen. Jon Tester’s first ads features a Vietnam Veteran crediting Tester, the chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee, with helping to pass the law.

Similarly, Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown’s first ad,

More from the Cook Political Report

CPR 2024 National Polling Average
Cook Politcal Logo
First Person
Cook Politcal Logo