Stephen J. Farnsworth, a University of Mary Washington political scientist, said the ad could give a boost to Gillespie’s campaign.
“In politics, it’s always good to focus on an issue where a candidate hasn’t taken a stand, when you can take a simple position on your side and leave it to the other side to twist about how respond to the issue,” Farnsworth said.
Farnsworth said he discussed the ad with students in his “Political Parties and Elections” class Tuesday morning. They seemed to think the spot could help an underdog challenger who even in recent polls was far less well known than Warner, a former governor running for his second term in the Senate.
“Having an ad on Monday Night Football is going to bring the Gillespie campaign to a lot of voters who might be thinking about sitting out the midterm election and will give more of a sense of Gillespie as a person,” Farnsworth said. “He’s at the kitchen table, sort of speaking directly to the public. … It presents him as a regular guy, which is really an effective counterpoint to the allegation that the Warner campaign has made that this is basically a guy who cozies up to the thieves at Enron and corrupt dictators of the developing world.”