A shadowy new group has purchased at least $6 million in TV ads ahead of the November election and is airing an ad that targets Gov. Greg Abbott as he runs for reelection.
The minute-long ad from Coulda Been Worse LLC, which started airing Friday, rattles off a list of major calamitous events that have happened on Abbott’s watch, like the Uvalde school shooting and 2021 power-grid collapse. As the narrator speaks, a picture slowly zooms out to show Abbott’s face.
“Any one of these — a terrible shame for Texas,” the narrator says at the end. “All of these — a horrific sign something big is terribly, terribly wrong.”
The spot ends with a clip of Abbott saying after the Uvalde massacre that it “could have been worse,” increasingly a rallying cry of Abbott’s critics. Abbott made the comment while praising the law enforcement response to the shooting, which has since been been widely criticized for taking well over an hour to confront the shooter. Abbott later said he was “misled” when he made the comment.
The advertising represents a significant escalation as Abbott fights for a third term against Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke. Abbott has led O’Rourke by mid-single digits in polls throughout the summer.
Here’s the ad, which I can’t find right now on YouTube in part because there’s a song called “Coulda Been Worse” and in part because there’s a ton of video clips of Abbott’s original “could have been worse” quote.
New — Here’s the TV ad that the mysterious new group Coulda Been Worse LLC is airing in Texas, targeting @GregAbbott_TX:
— Patrick Svitek (@PatrickSvitek) 6:15 AM – 9 September 2022
60-second ads always feel interminable to me, but I’m not sure how you cut this one down. I mostly encounter ads like this when I watch sports – the college and NFL football seasons are just rife with this stuff, especially in even-numbered years – so I’ll be interested to see how often I encounter it. What’s your reaction?