As the midterms heat up, expect to hear the words “Wall Street” a lot. Democrats are hammering Republicans on their ties to Wall Street, no matter how tangential, and on their party’s opposition to financial reform legislation, the LA Times reports. Republicans, meanwhile, speak angrily about bailouts and downplay their financial industry ties—even though they’re raising significantly more money from Wall Street than Democrats this cycle.
“The one central theme that runs through all the Democratic campaigns is, ‘We represent the middle class, and the Republicans represent Wall Street,” says one politics professor. That goes double for Joe Sestak in Pennsylvania, since his opponent, Pat Toomey, is “a real, live Wall Street trader.” A former derivatives slinger, Toomey voted to repeal Glass-Steagal and to prevent all derivatives regulation. Experts say those laws set the stage for the financial crisis, and Sestak’s been eager to exploit that. His ads have even (falsely) claimed that Toomey wrote the laws.