Virginia Republican’s ad ties opponent to MS-13. Democrats compare it to ‘Willie Horton’ (Washington Post)

Stephen Farnsworth, a political scientist at the University of Mary Washington, said the commercial is the kind of ad to be expected in Virginia’s usually combative elections, but a sharp contrast from the “largely respectful tone” of the debate.

“It’s a powerful message to swing voters, who are far more concerned about their communities than what President Trump said today,” Farnsworth said in an email.

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