Aug 30, 2022 - Politics & Policy

First look: Dems' climate ad blitz

Illustration of a lawn sign that says "Vote," but the O is an earth.
Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

With the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, Democrats are spending millions to tout its climate and clean energy provisions — aiming to turn out 2 million environmentally-driven voters across 17 states in November.

Driving the news: Climate Power Action and League of Conservation Voters (LCV) Victory Fund, two of Dems' biggest outside climate groups, on Tuesday are launching a $12 million digital ad and direct mail campaign targeted largely to younger, college-educated women.

Details: Their "Climate Voters Mobilization" 2022 program is modeled in part after the success they found targeting swing voters over environmental issues in 2020, and part of a larger $100 million campaign.

  • The campaign supports pro-climate U.S. Senate and House candidates in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Ohio, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.
  • Like other climate groups, they had been anticipating how to sell the IRA to voters this fall even before it had even passed, as Axios' Ben Geman reports.
  • Their goal is to reach Biden voters who aren't excited about participating in the 2022 cycle, but are highly interested in climate and environmental issues.

What they're saying: Pete Maysmith of LCV Victory Fund called the IRA "monumental and important climate legislation," telling Axios: "We know we need to motivate people and increase enthusiasm."

  • Heather Hargreaves, senior advisor for Climate Power Action, told Axios their modeling in coordination with Blue Labs, a Democratic data science company, showed messaging around lower energy costs, job creation, clean energy and consequences of failing to take climate action is most effective with their target demo. Many of these voters "are just not aware of what’s happened with the IRA... but when people learn, they move to Democrats."

By the numbers: Voter enthusiasm for the midterms has reached its highest points in the last month, per Morning Consult, but other polls have shown the president steadily losing support with young voters.

What to watch: Democrat senators and candidates getting a boost from this initiative include Sens. Mark Kelly (Arizona), Michael Bennet (Colorado), Raphael Warnock (Georgia), Maggie Hassan (New Hampshire), Catherine Cortez-Masto (Nevada), John Fetterman (Pennsylvania), and Mandela Barnes (Wisconsin.).

  • Democratic House members and candidates getting a boost include Reps. Katie Porter and Mike Levin in California; Jahana Hayes in Connecticut; Lauren Underwood in Illinois; Cindy Axne in Iowa; Sharice Davids in Kansas; Elissa Slotkin and Dan Kildee in Michigan; Marcy Kaptur in Ohio; Chris Pappas and Ann Kuster in New Hampshire; Andy Kim in New Jersey; Dina Titus, Susie Lee and Steven Horsford in Nevada; Susan Wild and Matt Cartwright in Pennsylvania; Elaine Luria and Abigail Spanberger in Virginia; and Kim Schrier in Washington.
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