Sep 23, 2017

Trump effect: the 2018 anti-establishment ads

With a little over a year to go until the 2018 midterm elections, candidates from the left and the right are putting out TV announcements to rally early support. The ads range from inspirational to bitingly anti-establishment, and each draws on the hottest political issues of the day: health care, the opioid crisis and the legislative stalemate in Washington.

The viral ad

Retired army fighter pilot Amy McGrath is a Democrat running for Congress to represent Kentucky's 6th district. Her campaign ad "Told Me" — about overcoming gender stereotypes to run combat missions from the skies — has 1.3 million views and counting.

The underdog ad

Randy Bryce, an iron-worker from Paul Ryan's district in Wisconsin, is a Democrat running for the Speaker's seat. Ryan has held Wisconsin's 1st district for 18 years. Bryce says, "Let's trade places. Paul Ryan, you can come work the iron, and I'll go to D.C."

The "Drain the swamp" ad

Republican John Curtis, running for Utah's 3rd congressional district, has popularized the hashtag "#DontDCmyUtah" with his campaign ad. The video shows Curtis using his attack ads — from his opponents and "their Washington, D.C. superPACs" — as mulch and shooting targets.

The creative ad

Democrat Dan Helmer released a campaign ad in which he calls out Rep. Barbara Comstock for "appealing" to right-wing politicians — she voted against funding for Planned Parenthood and Obamacare. He does it in song, spoofing a scene from "Top Gun."

The single-issue ad

Independent Boyd Melson — a champion boxer and captain in the U.S. Army Reserve — is running for Congress from Staten Island. His campaign ad is centered around the opioid epidemic, which has been escalating in Staten Island. Melson tells D.C. politicians to "get out of the ring" if they can't risk their jobs to fight the opioid crisis.

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