Mar 16, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Joe Biden's 2021 campaign

Biden with Kamala Harris, Schumer and Pelosi
President Biden, Vice President Harris, Senate Majority Leader Schumer and Speaker Pelosi on Friday, after a Rose Garden celebration of the American Rescue Plan. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

All the muscles of the Democratic Party are engaged in selling President Biden's COVID-19 relief bill just days after it was signed, with Democrats treating the $1.9 trillion package like a candidate.

Why it matters: The efforts underscore how closely Biden himself — and the broader Democratic machine — have tied the popularity of his first major piece of legislation to the success and ultimate survival of his presidency.

White House political director Emmy Ruiz said she viewed the effort as "very similar to campaign work," with the administration "taking the story to places that have been most impacted."

  • She singled out Nevada, a state where COVID has hammered the massive tourism and hospitality industries.
  • She says the White House, and likely the president himself, will take the campaign into "deep red" Trump country.

The three major Democratic campaign committees — the DNC, DSCC and DCCC — are running ads promoting the American Rescue Plan.

  • The DNC will run TV ads in at least eight battleground states: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Nevada and Pennsylvania.
  • The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is running digital ads in swing districts to protect vulnerable House Democrats.
  • The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is already running digital ads targeting two Republican senators for voting against the $1.9 trillion bill: Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Marco Rubio of Florida.

The big picture: Outside groups are allocating millions of dollars to run ads across swing states and competitive districts, according to a Democratic strategist tracking the efforts.

  • The nonprofit House Majority Forward plans to launch a $1.4 million ad campaign this week to "bolster nine vulnerable House Democrats who backed the COVID relief package."
  • Priorities USA plans to run a "two-year, multimillion-dollar campaign" targeting new Democratic voters who turned out in 2020, swing voters who switched from Trump to Biden, and voters vulnerable to social media misinformation. The first ads — "Help is on the Way" and "Jumpstart" — will run in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
  • Protect Our Care is running digital ads across 30 congressional districts in 19 states.
  • The pro-Biden super PAC Unite the Country has launched "a seven-figure TV and digital ad campaign in the battleground states of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Arizona and Georgia."
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