Parties focused on inflation and abortion in closing ads
Democrats primarily promoted their stance on abortion in campaign ads, promising voters that they will protect reproductive rights if elected and painting their opponents as “extreme” on the issue.
The midterm elections have been focused on two key issues in the campaign’s home stretch — abortion and inflation — with each party picking one issue to propel them through the fall election season.An NBC News analysis of campaign TV ads from September 1 through November 7 reflected the intensity of messaging about inflation and abortion . Those two topics topped a list of issues featured in campaign ads from that time period. Abortion was mentioned in 654 ads of 3,295 total commercials, or almost 20% of all ads run in races for governor, Senate and House. Inflation was mentioned in 575 of those total ads , according to AdImpact’s classification of issues in ads .Democrats primarily promoted their stance on abortion in campaign ads , promising voters that they will protect reproductive rights if elected and painting their opponents as “extreme” on the issue.For example, in Nevada’s 1st District, a narrator in one of Democratic Rep. Dina Titus’ ads told viewers, “Rising costs are crushing Nevada families, but what are [Republican nominee] Mark Robertson’s priorities? Forcing through a national ban on abortion .”Republicans in some of their ads , however, tried to push back on the notion that they were in favor of banning abortion .In New Hampshire, Republican Senate nominee Don Bolduc told viewers in one ad, “Here’s the deal. I won’t change New Hampshire’s abortion law … [Democratic Sen.] Maggie Hassan is lying.”Meanwhile, both sides of the aisle tackled inflation in their ads , with Democrats primarily touting their efforts to lower prescription drug prices and attacking oil companies for price gouging.One woman in Georgia was featured in an ad supporting Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock’s re-election bid, telling voters, “For years, politicians have talked about forcing drug companies to lower their prices, but that didn’t happen until Raphael Warnock finally got it done.”Republicans, on the other hand, attacked Democrats, blaming them for spurring inflation and promising voters to get ahold of rising prices if elected.In Nebraska, Republican Rep. Don Bacon told viewers in one ad, “It’s been my greatest honor to represent you, serving as a check and balance against Biden and Pelosi’s inflationary spending.”Another topic that popped in the last few months ahead of the election was crime , with Republicans hammering Democrats for supposedly being in favor of defunding the police and ending cash bail . 545 of 3,295 total ads , or 16%, mentioned crime .That line of attack worked particularly well in New York, where races tightened in recent weeks due to Republican’s attacks about crime . Now, they even stand a chance to flip multiple Democratic-held seats in a traditionally blue state.In New York’s 17th District, where Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney is in a tight race for reelection against Republican Mike Lawler, the conservative Congressional Leadership Fund ran an ad highlighting Maloney’s statement at one debate that he would support ending cash bail .”Sean Patrick Maloney wants it easier for violent criminals to get back on the street,” a narrator in the ad said.The attacks led Maloney to run his own ads addressing crime , including one where he featured a police officer telling viewers, “The attacks on Sean Patrick Maloney are lies. Sean took on those who wanted to defund the police. He’s tough on crime .”Other Democrats across the country took this route, too, highlighting their relationships to police as a way to show their strength tackling crime .In Oregon’s 6th District, Democratic nominee Andrea Salinas ran an ad featuring pictures of her dad, a police officer. A narrator in the ad told viewers, “From crime to the economy, Andrea gets what we’re facing right now. She’s working to bring down the high cost of living in healthcare, secured millions for law enforcement to combat violent crime .”