- - Thursday, July 31, 2014

The public’s regard for politicians can’t fall much lower — used-car salesmen, terrorists and even journalists enjoy higher approval ratings — but several Senate candidates are doing their best to prove otherwise. National Review magazine obtained a 144-page internal campaign document prepared in December for Michelle Nunn, a Democrat running for an open Senate seat in Georgia. Her chief qualification for the job is that she’s the daughter of Sam Nunn, a former senator.

The candid document spells out her prospective policy views in terms of what she can expect to get out of them: “Michelle’s position on Israel will largely determine the level of [fundraising] support [she gets from Jewish donors].”

Setting an initial target of $250,000 from the “Jewish community,” the memo observes that there is “a tremendous financial opportunity, but the level of support will be contingent on her position.” There’s no call to principle here, just cold calculation. Her message is “to be determined.”

The document urged Mrs. Nunn to embrace gun owners as a key constituency “in September or October” — during hunting season, just before the election. “It will allow the campaign to create messaging about Michelle Nunn’s moderate bona fides,” it says, “at a time when the Republicans are likely to be making her appear like a liberal.”

Exposing her actual inclinations won’t take much work. Ms. Nunn is a favorite of homosexual activists at the Human Rights Campaign from whose “deep pockets” she expects to collect $300,000. (This is ironic, since her father staunchly opposed opening the military to declared homosexuals.) She could expect $500,000 from “trial lawyers and law firms” and $1 million from the abortion-advocacy EMILY’s List. This is no more “cynical” than what internal documents might reveal about many candidates; campaign consultants are not the keepers of conscience in any campaign. But these revelations come just as a new Vox Populi poll finds her Republican opponent, businessman David Perdue, surging with a 9-point lead in the race.

In West Virginia, Democratic Senate candidate Natalie Tennant seeks to burnish her “moderate bona fides” by running an ad critical of President Obama’s war on coal, which is deeply unpopular in the state, the nation’s top producer of coal. “Where do they think their electricity comes from?” she asks in the ad, which debuted Monday. Ms. Tennant is depicted cutting off power to the White House with the promise: “I’ll make sure President Obama gets the message.”

However, this is the same Natalie Tennant who nominated Mr. Obama for president in 2008 despite his pledge to bankrupt the coal industry, and she supported him again in 2012, observes a spokesman for Ms. Tennant’s Republican opponent, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito.

In a growing number of places Mr. Obama is as popular as a hot dog stand at a convention of vegetarians. After nearly six years of devotion to his agenda, Kay R. Hagan and Mark L. Pryor, Democratic Senate incumbents in North Carolina and Arkansas, are pleading with the president not to go rogue on immigration reform via executive order. They fear the fallout on their re-election bids if Mr. Obama orders an amnesty for millions of illegal aliens.

That would be serious ingratitude for Mrs. Hagan, who voted to support of his agenda 96 percent of the time in 2013, and for Mr. Pryor, who has done so 90 percent of the time, according to Congressional Quarterly/Roll Call.

If these endangered Democrats pull off a victory in November by pretending to be what they’re not, congressional approval will sink further, perhaps into the single digits, as true colors show through.