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Ad Watch | Attack on Elizabeth Dole

SPONSOR

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee

WHAT THE AD SAYS

Announcer: “She's part of the Washington mess. Elizabeth Dole voted with George Bush 92 percent. No wonder Elizabeth Dole's ranked 93rd in effectiveness.

“She's simply out of touch. Two years ago, records show she spent just 13 days in North Carolina. The year before, only 20 days. Papers call Dole an ‘absentee senator,' ‘ineffective,' a ‘disappointment.'

“Elizabeth Dole. Just not getting the job done.

“The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is responsible for the content of this advertising.”

Images: The ad flashes text echoing the announcer's claims and photographs of Dole, including a shot of her with President Bush.

WHAT THE RECORD SHOWS

Washington-based news service Congressional Quarterly compiles yearly figures for how often senators vote with the stated position of the president. The 92 percent figure comes from an average of the yearly scores for Dole, though Congressional Quarterly researchers say that method is inaccurate. Based on its overall score through August, they say the correct figure for Dole is 88 percent.

The effectiveness ranking comes from an annual study conducted by the data service Knowlegis. It ranked Dole 93rd in the Senate for 2008.

The ranking is based on analysis of criteria including news articles, bills, amendments, committee and caucus positions, campaign contributions and earmarks, according to Knowlegis.

The claim about her visits to North Carolina is based on a story by the Winston-Salem Journal that analyzed tax-paid travel records, news releases and media coverage. Dole said the paper didn't count all the times she's been to the state at her own expense and that the story punished her for paying her own way to North Carolina.

The quotes from newspapers were taken from unsigned editorials in the Asheville Citizen-Times and The Charlotte Observer that endorsed state Sen. Kay Hagan, the Democratic nominee.

IS THE AD ACCURATE?

Not entirely. The methodology for calculating Dole's voting record is inaccurate. Using Senate records to track her visits to the state would not include times she paid her own way.

Benjamin Niolet, (Raleigh) News & Observer
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