Democrats are finally playing offense on abortion. In state after state and race after race, they are hammering their opponents with television ads highlighting Republican extremism on the issue, and with the Trump-McConnell Supreme Court having overturned Roe v. Wade and Republican-controlled states banning abortion, it’s not a difficult case to make.
Since the Supreme Court decision, Democrats have spent $31.9 million on abortion-focused ads, compared with $4.2 million spent by Republicans, according to data from the media tracking firm AdImpact and reported by The New York Times. One of these parties thinks it has a winning issue, and the other most definitely does not. In fact, one of the few Republican ads focusing on abortion comes in the New Mexico gubernatorial race, with Republican nominee Mark Ronchetti saying, “I’m personally pro-life, but I believe we can all come together on a policy that reflects our shared values.” Yeah, sure, guy. That’s very believable.
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The ads are hard-hitting, too. Democrats have outright called Republican candidates “too extreme” in ads airing in at least five states. That’s a message that’s very powerful around abortion specifically, given the wave of abortion bans Republicans have passed in the states, but “The arguments Democrats are using in those ads don’t stay contained to the abortion space,” former Obama White House communications director Jennifer Palmieri told the Times. “You’re telling them something about their temperament, their judgment, and their values.”
”Doug Mastriano scares me,” a woman says at the beginning of an ad in the Pennsylvania gubernatorial race. Another adds, “As governor, he would outlaw abortion in Pennsylvania.”
In Arizona, an ad from Sen. Mark Kelly’s campaign describes Republican challenger Blake Masters as having “dangerous ideas on abortion,” showing him saying, “I think it’s demonic” and “you make it illegal and you punish the doctors.” Masters has been trying to back away from his earlier statements to make himself more palatable for general election voters, but the footage speaks for itself. An ad in the Arizona gubernatorial race similarly describes Republican nominee Kari Lake as “dangerous,” focusing not just on abortion—“Lake wouldn’t just ban abortion, she’d criminalize it, force pregnancies for rape and incest”—but on her support for legalizing rocket launchers and putting cameras in schools.
In Georgia, one ad shows women talking about the potential impacts of Gov. Brian Kemp’s support for laws without exceptions for rape or incest, and which could lead to investigations of people who’ve suffered a miscarriage. In Michigan, an ad highlights footage of gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon opposing exceptions to abortion bans.
Democrats are also running abortion-related ads in less high-profile (this cycle) states like Alaska, Iowa, Virginia, and New York.
“When you take something away from voters, especially something as cherished and crucial as health care, which is what this is, that is a really politically perilous decision,” one Democratic strategist told the Times. It’s really good to see Democrats realizing that and using it with no timidity or fear.
Democratic ads hit extreme anti-choice GOP candidates with their own words
About that national abortion ban congressional Republicans have been planning ...
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