Overall, less than 2% of all TV spend on home races went to Jan. 6 ads, according to ad-tracking firm AdImpact — that’s just $2.7 million out of $163 million. of dollars. In total, Democrats aired just two dozen spots focused on threats to democracy this cycle, in about 16 different battleground districts.
Yet in the places where they appear, Democrats say the voter protection message is making a difference in some unlikely territories, helping them paint challengers and GOP incumbents as too extreme in places like rural Wisconsin, suburban of New Jersey and the eastern Phoenix Valley. representing Greg Stanton (D-Arizona), for his part, called his battle against GOP opponent Kelly Cooper — which cast doubt on the 2020 results — a “test case.”
“My opponent is well, well outside the mainstream. He is an extremist candidate. … This guy is a threat to our democracy, and I have to talk about it in this race because it’s a real issue that people care about,” Stanton said.
The very first ad that Democrats The campaign arm ran through the swinging neighborhood of Stanton, Phoenix-area, featured video of the attack on the Capitol as it hammered Cooper for swearing to help free convicted Jan. 6 rioters on “first day” of his mandate. Cooper also addresses the question the 2020 election on his campaign website, calling the election a “disaster” and that Arizonans are “wondering if their vote really matters.”
Stanton’s race is one of the few go-to contests in his party where Democrats have snatched up GOP candidates tied to the events of Jan. 6, such as attending the rally that preceded the violent attack on Trump supporters, or the false claims by the former president. having won the 2020 election. The strategy is a mid-term gamble focused on this year’s economy: For the vast majority of swing seats, the main problem for voters is high inflation.
And Trump’s legal troubles after the presidency may matter to the Democratic base, but they register far less for independent voters. representing Kelly Armstrong (RN.D.), a member of the leadership team of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said that in “really tough races, you’re going to hit them on everything,” but compared the political impact of certification votes to the Robert Mueller effect. 2016 Trump campaign investigation into subsequent legislative elections – negligible.
“If you thought it really moved the needle, don’t you think you’d see it in a six-point race or a five-point race somewhere? I mean, you have a lot of target-rich environments said Armstrong, who was among the minority of House Republicans to oppose the GOP’s election challenges.
Only four endangered Republican incumbents voted against certifying the loss of Trump-Reps. Yvette Herrel (RN.M.), mike garcia (R-California), Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) and David Schweikert (R-Arizona) — and hold each of the districts Biden has won in 2020, putting them in an extremely vulnerable position this fall. But their Democratic opponents aren’t running any TV ads that mention Jan. 6, according to AdImpact.
Garcia, a Navy veteran who pulled off an upset in the 2020 special election, holds a district that Biden won by 13 points. But Democrats are more focused on ousting Chabot and Herrell, and are much more focused on abortion rights than Jan. 6.
Greg Landsman, the Chabot-defying Democratic candidate, called the Ohio Republican vote on Jan. 6 “disqualifying” in itself, but also pointed to it as a “bigger streak of votes” that exemplifies his rightward shift. , including on abortion and even sexual marriage.
“To turn your back on democracy and your own constituents – knowingly siding at that time with people who had just attacked the Capitol, killed police officers and voted to annul an election is frightening, it is dangerous, it’s disqualifying,” Landsman said in an interview, noting that he ran mail and digital ads against Chabot over the issue.
Two other members who supported Trump-backed election challenges, Reps. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) and Carlos Gimenez (R-Fla.), could face competitive reelection in future cycles, but are widely considered safe in 2022.
Democrats are leaning heavily on the issue in the race against Perry, who had his phone seized by the FBI and was subpoenaed by the Jan. 6 committee. Harrisburg City Council member Shamaine Daniels challenging Perry, aired a TV ad which mentions the Capitol seat and the House Freedom Caucus chairman’s support for election challenges, as well as his positions on issues like abortion. Perry, in a recent debate, backed his votes.
Despite Jan. 6’s absence and Trump-backed bogus election objections as the main campaign messaging issues, senior Democrats like campaign leader Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (DN.Y.) encouraged the candidates to label GOP opponents “extremists” on everything from baseless election fraud allegations to nationwide abortion bans.
That tactic may have already saved a swing seat, according to several Democrats.
Even before his scandal over the false declaration of military service, Toledo, Ohio-based GOP challenger JR Majewski was weakened by months of hits for his appearance on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6. “Officers have been beaten with fists, bats and even the American flag.
And even in districts without paid TV ads referencing Jan. 6, Republicans answered debate questions about their campaign objections, as well as digital and mail ads as well as social media calls from Democratic opponents. Chabot defended his vote supporting GOP challenges to the Pennsylvania results when he received a question about it during a candidates’ forum with Landsman this month, while Rep. Chris Dads (DN.H.) lambasted Republican opponent Karoline Leavitt on Wednesday for her support for election objections. (No evidence of widespread voter fraud in Pennsylvania exists, and the Supreme Court rejected a GOP-led effort to overturn its results.)
Responding to Landsman’s criticism of Chabot’s electoral vote as “disqualifying,” incumbent GOP campaign manager John Gomez responded in a statement that Landsman’s “support for tax hikes and socialist policies that have increased burden on families and the record of trying to defund the police is disqualifying.”
Then there’s Wisconsin Republican Derrick Van Orden, who tops the short list of Republicans targeted for their Jan. 6 ties. The GOP candidate used campaign funds to pay for the trip to Washington that day, although it was refused to enter the Capitol grounds January 6th. While clinging to the retired rep. Ron Kind(D-Wis.) The red-tilt district is a big reach for Democrats this year, Kind said he was hopeful — in part because of Van Orden’s story.
“He was here on the Mall. He was part of the crowd,” Kind said of Van Orden. “Wisconsin is not nice. This stuff rubs people the wrong way.