In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Another election year, another wave of nasty attack ads. With the 2018 midterm cycle in its final weeks, Senate and House candidates are unleashing their worst against their opponents: allegations of “un-American” behavior, Islamophobic innuendo, and not-so-subtle racism.

TPM rounded up some of the most egregious campaign ads we’ve seen so far. Email us if there are any we missed!

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said his party might take another whack at Obamacare if they hold onto their congressional majorities in November’s elections.

“If we had the votes to completely start over, we’d do it. But that depends on what happens in a couple weeks,” he told reporters Wednesday, according to Reuters. “We’re not satisfied with the way Obamacare is working.”

The GOP’s Obamacare repeal efforts failed by just one vote last year. And with a number of red-state targets this fall, there’s a good chance Senate Republicans can grow their majority by a few seats if things break their way in the closing weeks of the election.

The House appears more likely than not to flip to Democrats, but it’s no sure thing. House Republicans will almost certainly have a smaller majority next year if they do hold the chamber, but they’re most likely to lose their more moderate members, meaning it might not be as hard for them to get on the same page with a repeal effort.

It seems highly unlikely this will happen. But as McConnell points out, there’s a chance.

Democrats have campaigned hard on protecting Obamacare this election cycle.

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With under three weeks to go until the midterm elections, the GOP nominee trying to unseat Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) is hitting below the belt.

A new attack ad out this week from former pharmaceutical executive Bob Hugin revives unproved allegations that Menendez would regularly hire underage prostitutes during vacations in the Dominican Republic.

The ad misleadingly presents the allegations against Menendez as facts corroborated by federal law enforcement, rather than unsubstantiated claims originally pushed by the Daily Caller in a series of 2012 and 2013 articles.

The phony scandal helped obscure other, more credible allegations against Menendez, who was accused of accepting gifts and trips from his friend Salomon Melgen. A federal corruption trial against the two men ended last year in a mistrial.

Hugin’s ad claims as fact that “underage girls” accused Menendez of hiring them for sex, and that “President Obama’s Justice Department” sat on “evidence” that the New Jersey Democrat had done so.

These allegations take great liberties with information included in the affidavit provided by an FBI special agent tasked with attempting to corroborate the claims about Menendez.

Two women who first spoke to the Daily Caller in 2012 about their alleged liaisons with Menendez later recanted, saying they were paid to fabricate the stories, as the Washington Post reported. They claimed to be adult escorts.

This ad represents just a fraction of the $10 million Hugin has shelled out on negative ads as the race winds down, according to the New York Times. The GOP nominee is hoping to capitalize on Menendez’s low approval ratings in New Jersey, where his corruption scandals have cost him support.

TPM reported this week that the Senate Majority PAC is tossing Menendez a $3 million liferaft to spend on advertising to try to buoy him ahead of Election Day.

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