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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Study of 2018 Ads Shows Winning Priorities for Dems

In her Axios post, “The Democratic hunt for a 2020 down-ballot message,” Sara Fischer writes that  data from Advertising Analytics indicate that the content of TV and digital ads for the 2018 elections emphasized health care, which apparently served Democrats well in Senate and House races.  Ads focusing on education dominated the gubernatorial contests.

Almost half of all ads for House races (48%) and Senate races (47%) focused on health care. Fischer notes that “While anti-Trump sentiment likely helped drive Democrats to the polls last cycle, there’s no question that a single, pro-policy message helped unify the electorate to overtake Republicans in the House…Republicans, who lost the House, had no unifying message.”

Democrats hunt for down-ballot message

Reproduced from Advertising Analytics. Chart: Axios Visuals

Regarding the 2020 campaign, Fischer adds that “Democratic presidential candidates top issues so far have included climate change, wealth inequality and universal health care — all likely to inform the party’s message for down-ballot races in the House and Senate.” Fischer writes that “Focus groups with Democrats in key states, including Wisconsin and Ohio, suggest that messaging around the Green New Deal and Medicare for All hasn’t broken through for all Democratic voters.”

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