A major Democratic group is rolling out a new series of ads bashing President Donald Trump for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, targeting white working-class voters in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania with memes lambasting the president for golfing and campaigning as the virus began to spread in the United States.
The super PAC American Bridge plans to spend more than $100,000 on the ads, which will take the form of memes and videos on social media and on the websites of local newspapers, mostly in rural areas.
American Bridge, which can raise and spend unlimited sums as long as it doesn’t directly coordinate with the campaign of former Vice President Joe Biden, has focused on limiting Trump’s advantage among white voters without college degrees in the three states that gave him his 2016 electoral college win.
The ads hit Trump for golfing at least nine times and holding campaign rallies a dozen times after he was first briefed about the coronavirus while failing to prepare for the virus to come to the country. The pandemic has resulted in more than 16 million people in the U.S. losing their jobs and has killed more than 16,000 Americans.
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“Using a little bit of humor, even though this is a dire time, can be very effective,” Bradley Beychok, the president of American Bridge, said of the group’s decision to use the meme format.
Most of American Bridge’s ads this cycle have featured voters talking directly to camera about health care or the economy, as well as why they’re no longer voting for Trump. But the group opted for a different approach when it came to coronavirus after studying how voters were consuming media during the pandemic: They were visiting local news websites and checking Facebook more frequently.
The group is also unapologetic about using some older meme formats: “In this type of medium, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” Beychok said. “The goal is engagement, not pride of authorship.”
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