A TV ad tying Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to the “savagery” of gunning down wolves from low-flying airplanes began airing on Denver broadcast stations Wednesday, Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund announced. The commercial scored higher than any other recent ad swaying voters toward the Democratic ticket, according to an independent focus group study, and has raised more than $1 million for the wildlife advocacy group.
The ad depicts a hunter shooting a wolf from the air while an announcer says, “Using a low-flying plane, they kill in winter when there is no way to escape. Riddled with gunshots, biting at their backs in agony, they die a brutal death.” The Alaska program also encourages airborne bounty hunters to chase wolves to exhaustion before landing and shooting them “point blank,” according to a Defenders release. Palin proposed a $150 bounty for each severed left foreleg.
“Do we really want a vice president who champions such savagery?” the ad asks.
The ad has already been running in Florida, Michigan and Ohio and will expand to Virginia, Wisconsin and Missouri, in addition to Colorado, to coincide with the vice presidential debate this week, according to a Defenders statement.
“Aerial killing of wolves may not be your standard national election issue, but it is one that helps illuminate an important part of Sarah Palin’s character,” said the group’s president, Rodger Schlickeisen. “We believe voters deserve to know about her support for this brutal practice, and we are confident the issue can move votes as we head into the home stretch of this campaign.”
A study conducted by HCD Research and the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion found the ad was very effective and “seemed to strike a chord with voters,” moving them from McCain-Palin and toward Obama-Biden, according to the firm’s release. “The recent ads from both parties have had little impact among voters,” HCD President Glenn Kessler said. “This is the first ad in over a month that seems to have broken through,”