DCCC Digital Ads Target Republicans Over Health Care Vote

Will the health care vote haunt House Republicans?

Update: Bridge Project is also running digital ads targeting 24 House Republicans over the vote.

James Hohmann and the Daily 202 crew at the Post bring us a nice scoop today:

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is launching a digital ad campaign against 10 House Republicans who voted for the health care bill. It’s part of a six-figure buy that will be spread out over the next two weeks, including radio ads. The message is a preview/test for broadcast buys down the road. The 15-second web videos (YouTube pre-roll) will target Martha McSally (AZ-02), Jeff Denham (CA-10), David Valadao (CA-21), Carlos Curbelo (FL-26), Kevin Yoder (KS-03), Bruce Poliquin (ME-02), Jason Lewis (MN-02), Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ-11), Claudia Tenney (NY-22) and John Faso (NY-19). Display ads will also target anyone who Googles the names of these lawmakers.

Separately, Dave Weigel confirms that “SaveMyCare, an independent pro-Democratic group, has purchased a half-million dollars of spots in 24 districts where Hillary Clinton won at least 45 percent of the vote last year”, though it’s unclear from his article whether these are digital, TV or both.

In any case, pre-roll video is great for message-testing, because you can create different variants and measure people’s responses. Run in enough volume, video ads can help define the vote in constituents’ minds, too. The Google tie-in is a nice touch, particularly since the members’ staff and campaign team will see the ads when they search for news on their bosses. Let those run a while! They won’t cost much, because the volume of searches on those names should be low. Likewise, I’m a fan of the local radio angle, since it’s also usually relatively cheap and the audiences naturally break down by demographic group (you generally know whom you’re reaching when you’re advertising on a country station, for example).

Democrats are smart to move quickly on these fronts, in part because any bill that passes the Senate will come right back to the House, putting these same members back in the hot seat. It’s also an early investment in defining what this moment means to the constituents who’ll be voting for them next year. Digital ads, early and often — will other Democratic groups follow suit?


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Colin Delany
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