Democrats are singling out Republican House members from seven districts that voted for President-elect Joe Biden in November in an early round of digital attack ads focused on their votes against impeachment on Wednesday.
The ads feature grayscale images of the Jan. 6 riots on the Capitol superimposed with text accusing the members, who are named, of voting “with the mob,” “against accountability” and of giving “Trump another chance to incite violence.”
The “four-figure” digital ad buy from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee means the campaign arm of House Democrats has already started the 2022 campaign. At the same point ahead of the 2018 midterms, the DCCC waited until March to start advertising. The subject chosen also indicates Democrats see impeachment as a particularly salient issue as they fight to retain control of the House.
“President Trump incited a QAnon mob that attacked the U.S. Capitol and left five Americans dead, including a police officer who was murdered. And now, after promoting the very same conspiracy theories that incited this mob, the vast majority of House Republicans caved to President [Donald] Trump, handing him yet another chance to incite violence against Americans he sees as the enemy, instead of supporting bipartisan articles of impeachment,” said DCCC spokesperson Cole Leiter. “This is not only wrong and un-American, but it will cost these representatives their jobs in 2020.”
The ads, aimed at web sites and social media platforms, will run in English and Spanish. The members targeted include three in California seats Democrats lost in 2020 — Reps. Mike Garcia, Young Kim and Michelle Steel — as well Reps. Maria Elvira Salazar, who flipped a seat in Florida, and Beth Van Duyne, who won an open seat. Also on the list are two veteran members the DCCC has tried and failed to defeat previously, Don Bacon of Nebraska and Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania.
Typically, the party in control of the presidency loses seats during midterm elections, and Democrats enter the cycle bruised after losing a net 10 seats and narrowing their majority in November.
Democrats think Bacon and Garcia’s background in the military and Fitzpatrick’s in law enforcement make them potentially vulnerable to questions of whether they placed party loyalty before the country’s interests. Bacon is a retired Air Force brigadier general and Garcia is a Navy veteran. Fitzpatrick, a former FBI agent who supervised a public corruption unit, has tried to rise above tribalism and party politics during his four years in office.
A press release announcing the ad buy noted a Jan. 13 poll from the left-leaning firm Navigator Research that found a majority of respondents supported removing Trump from office and were worried about more violence after last week’s riots in the Capitol.