Opinion: VA-7 ads take different approaches

Both Dave Brat and Jack Trammell have released new advertisements in the final push to the Nov. 4 election.

I decided to conduct a brief analysis of their approaches to advertising to see if I could determine any differences in campaign strategy between the two candidates. I have tried to interpret what the candidates’ media strategies mean regarding their chances to win on Election Day.

The first thing I noticed about both candidates was their Twitter and Facebook feeds. The two candidates have recycled the same materials across their social media platforms with some changes in their style of posting.

Brat loves visuals, and while Trammell has just as many on his page, the perception is quite different.

Brat is having fun with the people of the 7th District whereas Trammell is very reserved in his photos.

Virginia Republicans are not sweating one bit. The man is oozing hip, and of course, money. You can see where this is going; it seems a win is predestined.

Tea Partiers seem to have found their champion. Brat’s campaign is still running on the fumes of trouncing Eric Cantor in the Republican Primary.

Brat may have seemed a bit of an anomaly to the rest of the Republican Party in the beginning, but he definitely has a few new numbers in his phone now. Brat’s most recent ad, “Clear Choice,” plays on his role as an economist.

The ad takes on Obamacare, social security and tax hikes that are all required to maintain the basic Republican platform in the 7th District.

People were tired of Eric Cantor, but I doubt they like Trammell’s mildness. Cantor had the 7th District in his grip since he first came to power in 2000.

It would not be a surprise if the voters admitted they want some aggression and a bit of a celebration, so it does not matter when Brat focuses on issues like immigration.

Trammell needs to throw an actual party. The advertisement he just released, “Know Jack Trammell,” takes a look at his life as regular Joe from Louisa who loves his family and students.
Towards the end of the ad, he noted a “willingness to work with both parties,” further cementing his moderate image.

I have been wondering what Trammell’s neighbors are thinking ever since he spoke on the 7th District’s overwhelming support of the Republican Party in the past.

Trammell’s campaign needs to have approval from every church and major business in the 7th District right now. The Democrats have a lot more to lose in the looming debate if Trammell does not pick up the momentum.

-Jarrod Harrison ’15, Social Media Editor

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