One thing I've noticed this year is that no candidates are mentioning their own political party in their advertisements. I was watching the news after Sunday Night Football, and every ad during the last three commercial breaks was a political ad. Not one of them said I'm (name), a (party) running for (office) In fact, the only political party that was named was the Democratic party in a PAC spot that said "my Democratic opponent voted for a budget which would have bankrupted the state" (the opponent went unnamed).

Also, the tone of the ads was overwhelmingly negative.

The trend is not limited to television, though. I received pamphlets on my doorstep from candidates for local offices, and none of them mentioned a party. (All Republicans.) There are yard signs on my block, all of which give the candidate's name and the office which he or she is seeking -- but not their political party. Why? Do the consultants think that the labels Republican and Democrat are both damaged? If so, why is nobody running as a third party? The only race with a third party candidate is the Senate race, where the Libertarians have fielded Rebbecca Sink-Burris against Brad Ellsworth and Dan Coats.

And no, not even that spotlight race mentions party in its materials.

And by the way, what the hell is an "Aqua Buddha?" Does anybody else think Paul Conway's campaign manager was high when he approved that? And when was the last time a Democrat trashed a Republican on religion?