Ad spending shows Dems have mid-term hopes for abortion

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats are pushing for abortion rights, stressing the importance of the message to the party in the final weeks leading up to November midterm elections.

Democrats have already spent more than $124 million this year on TV ads involving abortion, as the most intense campaign campaign has just begun. That’s more than double the Democrats’ next top issue this year, “character,” and nearly 20 times what Democrats spent on abortion-related ads in the 2018 midterms.

The estimated spending figures reveal the extent to which Democrats are betting their majority in Congress and key governorships on one issue, according to an Associated Press analysis of data provided by nonpartisan research firm AdImpact. Even though most Americans think the country is heading in the wrong direction, the economy is in bad shape.

The advertising data also shows how aggressively Republicans have shied away from abortion in paid ads in the weeks since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, a decades-old Republican target. (AdImpact data captures every ad played on TV and estimates the costs associated with those plays.)

About a third of what Democrats and their allies have spent on television advertising has been on abortions since the high court’s decision in June to remove the constitutional right to abortion. Much of the spending is aimed at attacking Republicans, who have long opposed abortion rights and are now pushing state-by-state to limit abortion rights or outlaw it altogether, in this fall’s ballot.

This year as of Sept. 18, Democrats’ unprecedented investment in television abortion information exceeded the combined national investment of Republicans in ads related to the economy, crime and immigration.

“With less than 60 days until the election, we refuse to stand by as anti-choice Republicans try to control our bodies and our future while lying to voters,” said executive director Melissa Williams. Women Vote!, an outside group, has spent more than $4 million on abortion-related ads this year. “We’re making sure every voter knows to stand with them and against their candidates in protecting this right.”

The overwhelming Democratic focus on abortion may not be surprising given the reversal of Roe v. Wade and the subsequent wave of Republican-backed abortion bans in more than a dozen states. But the strategy still marks a radical departure from the party’s focus in recent years on former President Donald Trump and other issues such as the economy, education and health care.

In the 2018 midterm elections, for example, Democrats spent less than $6 million on abortion-related TV ads. By comparison, Democrats spent $51 million on Trump-related ads, $49 million on health care and $46 million on education, according to AdImpact.

Jessica Floyd, president of American Bridge, which runs abortion-related ads in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and Pennsylvania, a Democratic-aligned super PAC, describes abortion as the “ultimate” for women and families. health care issues”. She said the Supreme Court’s decision, and subsequent Republican efforts to ban abortion in some states, represented “a practical regression of rights that has never been seen before.”

“It’s a very powerful dynamic,” Floyd said. “It goes against everything we know voters care about — especially the voters who decide this election.”

Republicans are also spending millions of dollars on abortion information, TV ad data shows. But most of those ads ran early in the spring and summer campaigns as Republican candidates touted their pro-life credentials. The number of GOP ads airing mentioning abortion has declined every month since May.

As the calendar shifts to the fall election, the gap between Democrats and Republicans on abortion ads has widened. For example, Democrats and their allies have aired more than 68,000 ads mentioning abortion on television so far this month — more than 15 times as many as their Republican counterparts. They spent about $31 million on such ads, compared with $2.8 million for Republicans. Even Republican leaders like GOP Chairwoman Rhona McDaniel admitted in a recent interview that her party can’t give Democrats control of the abortion narrative.

“Obviously, that’s the only thing Democrats have to hold on to, right? They can’t rely on a good economy. They can’t rely on their communities being safer. They can’t rely on education,” McDaniel said. “So what are they going to do? They’re going to make everything about abortion, which means we’re going to have to talk about it like the Republicans do.”

senator. Lindsey GrahamRS.C., anger Republican leaders A nationwide ban on abortion at 15 weeks of pregnancy was passed last week. This is the kind of legislation that Republicans on Capitol Hill have supported for years. But this year, eight weeks before Election Day, it was seen as an unwelcome reminder to voters that some Republicans in Congress want to pass nationwide abortion restrictions if given the chance.

McDaniel encouraged Republicans to oppose abortion by emphasizing Democrats’ resistance to any restrictions, a stance she sees as incompatible with the majority of voters. While GOP leaders and candidates are increasingly making the argument when asked, the party has yet to devote significant resources to the one place most voters hear from GOP candidates: their screens.

Meanwhile, Democrats released a new wave of abortion-related ads targeting statewide Republican candidates in North Carolina, New Mexico, Minnesota, Arizona, Colorado and Florida. Abortion is also a regular topic for state legislative candidates in the California and Florida competing zones. Republican House candidates have come under fire for opposing abortion rights in congressional districts in upstate New York, Connecticut, Michigan and Indiana.

In some cases, Republican candidates have aired multiple abortion-related ads on local television at the same time.

One of them is Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim Michels of Wisconsin, who has been the focus of abortion-related attack ads from three groups so far this month, including his Rival Democratic Gov. Tony Evers. Each of the three ad campaigns featured Michels confirming his opposition to abortion rights, even in cases of rape or incest.

“Is this the divisive activist you want?” the narrator asked in an ad produced by the Evers campaign.

Michels’ campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

The same is true in Nevada, where Sen. Kathryn Cortez Masto is considered one of the most vulnerable Democratic incumbents in the country. This month, at least two anti-Republican groups and the Cortez Masto movement itself are targeting GOP challenger Adam Laxalt with abortion-related ads.

A doctor in Cortez Masto’s campaign says Republicans are trying to interfere in women’s health care decisions.

“For doctors like me, our job is to make sure women have the support they need to make decisions that are right for them. Adam Laxalt disagrees,” the doctor said in an ad.

In an op-ed last month, Laxalt sought to counter the flood of abortion-related ads targeting him.

“Cortez Masto and her allies spent millions on campaign ads trying to … convince you that I would support the federal abortion ban as a lie in the U.S. Senator, or that I’m in a way is ‘anti-female’ because I value, support and defend life at all stages,” he wrote. “Throughout my adult life, I’ve always believed that the Supreme Court should return the issue of abortion to the people and let them decide it on a state-by-state basis.”

Abortion has been a big focus of Nevada’s Senate race so far, but there have been far more abortion-related ads in other elections.

AdImpact data shows that the most TV ads that aired this year referring to abortion occurred in Pennsylvania and Arizona for Senate races, followed by Illinois, Georgia and Wisconsin gubernatorial races. (The now defeated Kansas Constitutional Amendment ballot measure, albeit a unique election, also saw some of the most advertising.)

Georgia’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams ran an ad campaign for much of August through September, using words from several women speaking directly to the camera to attack Republican Gov. camp.

“He supports a total ban, even though I’m a rape, incest victim,” the women said. Another woman said: “Under Kemp, I could be investigated and jailed for miscarriage.”

Kemp spokesman Tate Mitchell disputed the accuracy of the ad, accusing “Stacey Abrams and her campaign of lying to scare people and distract voters from her dangerous agenda for Georgia.”

Democrats in several swing states have actively supported some leading Republicans against exceptions for abortion in cases of rape, incest or endangering the life of the mother.

Cliff Schecter, a veteran Democratic ad producer and founder of Blue Amp Strategies, said Democrats “have a much better message on abortion” this year.

“It’s no longer just liberal women, even moderate women. It’s conservative women who are shocked by this,” Schkerter said of the new abortion restrictions being implemented across the country. “Not focusing on it is an inappropriate behavior.”


The People reports from New York.

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