The party has been particularly bad in the past — most notably after Obamacare passed in 2010 — and there’s no guarantee this time will be any different.
“There is no campaign to win,” said Lori Lodes, executive director of Climate Action. That cycle, Democrats lost 63 House seats and 6 Senate seats.
After President Joe Biden signed the inflation-reduction bill into law on Tuesday, White House cabinet officials held events in California, Iowa, New Jersey, Arizona, Mississippi and Nevada on Thursday and Friday to rally support for him across the country. Vulnerable senators are talking on the campaign trail, while Democratic TV advertisers are scrambling to cut commercials.
“I know there are front-line members who are clarifying their votes, looking at what’s in the bill and, basically, the promises they’ve made, reducing drug costs and health care costs,” said Ian Russell, a Democratic adman and former political director. Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “You’re going to see more of those ads for front-line Democrats.”
To stick in voters’ minds, Russell continued, “you have to put money behind it.” “You have to sell it with ads.”
There’s more ad spending on the horizon, from candidates and outside groups, according to half a dozen Democratic strategists. Building Together, a group led by former Biden campaign officials, will spend more than $1 million in ad buys to support the president’s policies, a spokeswoman for the group said.
The Democratic National Committee is planning to launch its own TV and digital advertising campaign promoting the new law, a committee official said.
“This [spending] It reinforces what Democrats in the House and Senate are saying,” said JB Porch, president of Senate Majority PAC, the main Senate Democratic super PAC. Among the provisions said to resonate with voters: reducing drug costs by allowing Medicare to negotiate on prices, capping the cost of insulin for Medicare recipients and strengthening the Affordable Care Act. “Helps echo that relief is on the way.”
Senate Majority PAC cut its own ad this week in Nevada, Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) Republican challenger Adam Laxalt, who is pushing for $35 to cover insulin, called insulin costs “reckless.” A provision rejected by Republican opponents would not be offered to people with private insurance.
“The sales pitch is coming from candidates who can point to concrete things that they’ve done, through debates, on the floor, through TV ads,” said Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman Ben Wickler. “It’s a confirmation point about the whole issue we’re putting to the voters right now,” he said.
Even as Democrats lean toward legislative success, the fundamentals of the election remain weak. Biden’s approval ratings are stuck in the low-40s and inflation, though down slightly, remains high. And breaking in voters is hard work, as only a quarter of voters knew that Democrats passed a $550 billion infrastructure package in the recent election.
“This will largely fall on deaf ears for independent voters until they see changes in how much money is coming out of their pockets each month,” said Robert Blizzard, a Republican pollster who works on various congressional races across the country. “This is just a game to create support among their base.”
But the law gave the party substantial legal success. The challenge for Democrats this time is clear, according to one veteran who was involved in the Obamacare sales 12 years ago.
“The key lesson here is that the journey to legislative success doesn’t end with a bill, but this new chapter begins when the connections matter,” said Democratic strategist Ben LaBolt. You have to be seen not only in the election ad that happens a few weeks every two years, but also on Voter Feed, connected streaming TV, cable TV, all of them. Explain what the law does.
As part of the $10 million acquisition, the commercials will be shown on cable channels and streaming platforms. According to the polls, they run on two messaging channels, leaning on issues that resonate particularly well with voters. The first batch focused on how “Joe Biden and the Democrats in Congress passed legislation that would make corporations pay the taxes they owe $400,000 a year without raising taxes on any of us,” says the ad’s narrator.
Second, climate-focused ads are targeted at younger voters. After achieving historic ratings for Democrats in 2018 and 2020, they will be aired on cable channels such as Comedy Central, MTV and Adults Swim, hoping to win back voters under 30 against the Biden administration.
“The storms are strong, and the fires are big,” says the ad’s narrator. “We’re facing a climate emergency, and after decades of inaction, a president is finally doing something to combat it.”