GOP Candidates Buck Precedent And Embrace Trump In TV Ads

Sep 17, 2018

Republican candidates in this year’s midterm elections are embracing President Donald Trump more than previous presidents had been embraced by their party in a midterm. That’s the finding of a new report by the Wesleyan University Media Project.

The report finds that 36,000 ads by Republicans in U.S. Senate and House races that ran across the country between August 1 and September 3 mentioned President Trump in a positive fashion. That’s nearly 14 percent of all ad airings in those races. Travis Ridout, with the Wesleyan Media Project, says it’s quite usual to have so many positive ads.

“Donald Trump’s approval ratings are not that high right now and so you would expect Republicans just not mentioning him. As Democrats didn’t mention Obama in 2010 and 2014. And yet they are mentioning him more than Republicans mentioned the very popular George W. Bush in 2002.”

Ridout says this may be because Trump is still quite popular with the Republican base, and the candidates running in the midterm elections are playing to that base. The Wesleyan report also finds that record numbers of women are running for Congress and most are running more positive ad campaigns.