The 2018 midterms, as informed by Republican and Democratic marketing campaign adverts


Republicans are campaigning on tradition wars. Democrats are centered on well being care.

Lower than two months from Election Day, the airwaves are saturated with political adverts, and every celebration’s message is changing into loud and clear.

Democrats are zeroing in on well being care and the GOP’s tax cuts for firms. However you received’t hear Republicans speaking a lot about their tax invoice in any respect.

What was presupposed to be a centerpiece of the bulk celebration’s message — their large tax regulation — appears to have fallen by the wayside. In response to knowledge compiled by Kantar Media for HuffPost and printed Thursday, lower than 12 p.c of almost 400,000 Republican tv adverts which have aired thus far this 12 months have talked about tax regulation.

As a substitute, Republicans have centered on sowing worry — worry of Nancy Pelosi’s liberal tradition taking up America. As Vox has reported, this has occurred earlier than; Republicans “backpedaled into cultural points, and it regarded determined,” conservative pundit Man Benson informed me after Republicans’ main upset loss within the particular election in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District.

Two years of presidency management hasn’t solidified a profitable coverage message for Republicans. So what was as soon as their emergency campaign playbook in tight particular elections has now grow to be the closing message to voters. And the distinction with Democrats’ message couldn’t be extra hanging.

Republicans are pouring cash into tradition wars

The message from Republicans at each stage — from Republican-affiliated PACS to the official marketing campaign arm of the celebration to particular person candidates — has highlighted tradition wars between liberals and conservatives.

Take Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who’s in a surprisingly aggressive race in opposition to Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke. From the start, he has been making an attempt to drive residence that Texas is just too conservative for a Democrat — however not simply on coverage.

The newest Cruz advert was in regards to the NFL nationwide anthem protests, attacking O’Rourke for his viral protection of soccer gamers kneeling for the nationwide anthem, which O’Rourke referred to as a “peaceable protest” about racial injustice and police brutality.

“In November, the place will you stand?” the advert asks in conclusion.

In New York, the Nationwide Republican Congressional Committee — the nationwide marketing campaign arm for Home Republicans — used an identical tactic to defend susceptible Rep. John Faso’s district, attacking Democrat Antonio Delgado for his previous as a rapper.

Faso and the Republicans have been lower than refined of their try to color Delgado — a black, Harvard-educated lawyer and Rhodes scholar, whose 2006 rap album criticized the Iraq Warfare — as not becoming in with the “tradition” of the upstate New York district.

The final body of the advert exhibits two side-by-side black-and-white images of Delgado: one in a go well with and the opposite in a darkish hoodie.


As Republicans wage tradition wars, Democrats are hitting laborious on well being care

Democrats are highlighting a unique worry: reminding voters what Republicans tried to do with the well being care system.

The celebration has spent greater than $40.eight million on well being care marketing campaign adverts in Senate races and $38.three million in Home races via the start of September — extra so than some other coverage challenge, CNN reported.

On Thursday, Home candidate Elissa Slotkin, an assistant secretary of protection underneath Barack Obama’s administration who’s operating to unseat Michigan Republican Rep. Mike Bishop, tweeted her well being care message: Her mother couldn’t afford her premiums when she was recognized with ovarian most cancers, due to preexisting situations.

Slotkin’s advert is like numerous different Democratic adverts, making an attempt to make the Republican well being care debate private. And taking part in on preexisting situations is sensible; the Trump administration is arguing in federal court that Obamacare’s protections should be ruled unconstitutional.

It’s been a profitable argument thus far. As Vox’s Dylan Scott writes, these adverts are “all of the proof you want to know that 2018 would be the inverse of the previous two midterm cycles: Democrats are counting on Obamacare to hold them in robust races quite than Republicans exploiting it to deliver them down.”

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