Back in May, FiveThirtyEight declared this year's midterm election the least important in years. The Democrats won't win back the House, and even the looming Republican Senate grab won't necessarily mean the GOP-controlled Congress will be all that different than the current climate. But even a relatively unsexy election hasn't completely stemmed the flow of hilaribad campaign ads trying to woo voters. Many of them are the typical star-spangled spectacles that you have come to expect, but a few have raised the stakes in a completely different way. I present to you the most ridiculous campaign ads of the 2014 midterm elections.
Even with spending topping $1 billion, campaign ads are down 12 percent from the 2010 midterms. In the underwhelming House race, both Democrats and Republicans are putting forth the spending equivalent of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, with ads down 27 and 37 percent, respectively. The Senate is a different story, showing Dems desperately clinging to control with an ad surge of 37 percent, and Republicans only slightly down in their pandering with a 7 percent decrease from 2010.
But don't worry, the bargain price of $1 billion bought voters plenty of WTF campaign moments outside of the normal soft piano music and inexplicable eagles. Here are some of the most memorable.
"Kamau the Electrician" feat. Cliven Bundy
Highlights: Campaign platform of eschewing political correctness, adding "Race Baiter" to the U.S. Attorney General's resume, liberal use of punctuation
This might sound like a horrible rap duo, but it's not. It's worse. Racist rancher Cliven Bundy teamed up with Nevada independent congressional candidate Kamau Bakari (who refers to himself on his Xanga-esque campaign page as "Kamau the Electrician") to simultaneously support Bakari's bid for Congress and beef with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. It is a cringe-worthy rallying cry against what these two horrible people feel is "bad for America": political correctness.
Alison "Definitely Not Barack" Lundergan Grimes
Highlights: Rocking yellow safety glasses, gettin' sassy about shooting technique, not being Barack Obama
The Kentucky Democrat vying for Mitch McConnell's Senate seat wants you to know something: She is not, I repeat is not, President Barack Obama. And she's going to shoot skeet while she tells you exactly how un-Barack she really is.
Mitch McConnell and the campaign tropes
Highlights: Lots of dogs, a Republican candidate not taking himself too seriously, really great Photoshopping.
Speaking of ol' Mitch, he had a pretty good one this year. He played into the ridiculous campaign ad tactics by making fun of them. So if you ever wanted to see the (likely) future leader of the Senate straddled between two trucks barreling down the highway, then here's your big chance.
Mark Begich can't ride a snowmobile
Highlights: Snowmobiles, men being men, celeb endorsement
Alaskan Senate candidate Dan Sullivan tapped four time X-Games medalist Cory Davis for an endorsement, but mostly to make fun of how Sullvian's opponent can't ride a snowmobile. After Mark Begich released a campaign ad of him zooming around an icy Alaskan plain in -20 degrees, Sullivan struck back by saying that, based on his snowmobile techniques, Begich was clearly a Washington insider.
Joni Ernst: Mother, soldier, pig castrator
Highlights: Frightening imagery, cute little pig squeals, creepy perma-smiles
The Iowa Republican Senator is gunning for a U.S. Senate seat, and she wants you to know that her upbringing on a pig farm has poised her to cut pork in Washington. In a very, er, visceral metaphor, she talks about castrating pigs, linking that to her plans for the government's spending. But maybe the weirdest part of all of it is the smile she keeps on her face the entire time.
Highlights: A Ferris Bueller-worthy OH YEAH, tackling the big issues, lots of marijuana leaves
Libertarian Senate candidate Sean Haugh has a very simple message: "Get Haugh, get high." The North Carolina candidate gets hip, using three young people to tell you how cool getting high is, and how Haugh will definitely get you there. But the North Carolina candidate learned a lot about keeping high people happy through his career as a pizza delivery man.
Really, Terri Lynn Land?
Highlights: Coffee break, '60s cocktail bar music, clearing absolutely nothing up
Michigan U.S. Senate candidate Terri Lynn Land used her campaign ad "Really?" to strike back against allegations that she and her Republican colleagues were waging a war on women. Her counterattack? Drinking coffee and letting you mull it over. Seriously. She takes 11 seconds of her half-minute bit to sip from her cup and look at her watch (all set to a lively piano bar diddy!), finally asking you if that allegation makes sense. I guess she was giving you a third of the ad space to... realize she is a woman? I don't really know.
Bruce Braley hasn't heard a peep
Highlights: Vague sexism, barnyard metaphors, MOAR CUTE ANIMALS
In response to Joni Ernst's castration ads, her Democratic opponent Bruce Braley found some livestock of his own to get his message across. He used a tiny little chick to say that he hadn't heard a "peep" from Ernst about "cutting pork" during her time in the Iowa Senate. I don't think I need to spell out why it is a bad idea to use a chick as a comparison for your female opponent.
Bibles, Guns, and "Duck Dynasty"
Highlights: Beards, guns, bibles
Good God, could you fit anymore Republican stereotypes into a 15-second bit? Zach Dasher, nephew of Duck Dynasty star and declared bigot Phil Robertson got a simple endorsement from his horrible uncle: "Bibles and guns got us here, and Bibles and guns will keep us here." Apparently, Dasher is a fan of both Bibles and gun. That's why Robertson is voting for him. Eloquent, as always, Robertson.