A conservative group, American Action Network, is spending nearly $1 million in television and digital ads that tell the residents of the 12 districts represented mostly by freshman Democrats that their representatives have gone “full radical,” advocating policies that endanger the economy and public safety. These districts include those held by representatives Sharice Davids of Kansas, Haley Stevens of Michigan, and Joe Cunningham of South Carolina.
The digital ads are expected to reach over 4 million voters and the television ads, which started airing on October 16, will run for two weeks in 18 media markets. A spokesperson from American Action Network stated that the group seeks to educate voters on the policies their representatives are advocating, and that the spending is in line with their previous spending on elections.
The messaging in the ads includes claims that these representatives’ policies can cause job losses, weaken border security, and threaten national security. For example, one ad accuses Representative Sharice Davids of “voting to make illegal border crossings a civil offense instead of a federal crime,” while another warns that Representative Joe Cunningham has voted to “allow them [refugees] to roam free around our communities.”
The ads are viewed by some as another attempt to sway the public opinion towards conservatism, especially in areas that are considered battlegrounds. The freshmen Democrats, whose districts these ads target, are part of a larger group of representatives that flipped their districts from Republican to Democrat during the 2018 midterm elections. While most of these representatives have been vocal on progressive policies such as healthcare reform and climate action, some of them such as Representative Davids of Kansas, who won her district by just around 10,000 votes, have adopted a more moderate approach.
The American Action Network’s involvement in this campaigning further reveals the growing interest of conservative groups in the upcoming election. In the last election cycle, the group spent more than $27 million on congressional races, and it is expected to spend a similar amount this time around. With the current political climate, expect further political ads to be released that target battleground areas such as the 12 districts listed in the American Action Network’s current ad campaign.