The Clinton Campaign has officially launched a $7.3 million ad buy in an effort to not only define Donald Trump, but to also redefine herself.
The campaign is putting three different ads in eight swing states: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia.
Interesting not to see Michigan or Pennsylvania in the mix. These are states Trump could do well in due to his white working class appeal. Maybe Clinton wants to shore up the swing states first; Michigan and Pennsylvania have gone for Democrats on the presidential level since 1988. Or maybe they have internal polling showing these states are not very close at the moment.
Regardless, one of the ads hits Trump by playing a number of the incendiary things he has said and done, including mocking a disabled New York Times reporter, while Clinton provides a voice-over talking about bringing people together and a long list of policy goals.
The two others do not mention Trump at all. Knowing she has high unfavorables of her own, these ads focus on the work she has done over the course of her career to fight for working families, work across the aisle to expand health care to eight million children, and her work as Secretary of State to stop the trafficking of women and girls.
The first ad is one minute long. The other is 30 seconds long.
A few things to note. One, Clinton knows she cannot win simply by being the anti-Trump. She has to give people some other reason, or reasons, to vote for her as opposed to against Trump. Hence the positive ads.
Two, Clinton is known by many Americans, fairly or not, for the controversies that have surrounded her and her husband; the most recent being her use of a private email server while she was at the State Department. A server still under investigation by the FBI.
Many voters probably have no clue she has worked for any of the things highlighted in these two ads. She won’t have favorables as high as when she was Secretary of State, but even if ads like these improve her numbers only a little bit, enough so they do not rival those of Trump, it only helps her going forward.
Third, let’s be clear, these ads are clearly targeted at women, especially married women. Married women made up 31% of the electorate four years ago and they have been a reliable GOP constituency in past presidential elections; Romney won married women 53% to 46% over Obama in 2012.
With Trump now her likely general election opponent, Clinton has an opening among this bloc given his sky high unfavorable numbers among them. Ads like these strike at the heart of married women with families and if Clinton can make significant inroads with them, it is going to be over pretty early on election night.
Finally, as of right now, Clinton has the airwaves in these states all to herself. Yes, seriously.
Trump’s campaign has been so inept at fundraising, he is spending a large chuck of his time raising money in states like Texas and Georgia, as opposed to campaigning and buying airtime in battleground states.
Talk about a wasted opportunity. Trump’s SuperPAC isn’t even running ads in these states. Even if they start today, Clinton will still be able to overwhelm them on the airwaves give her yuuuge financial advantage. I know Trump did just fine spending little to no money in the primary, but the general election is a different animal with a far more diverse electorate.
Here is a detailed look at where and when the ads will be airing according to SMG Delta, an organization, in partnership with NBC News, tracks ad spending:
Virginia: $1.6 million; running from June 16 to July 25 (6/16-7/25)
- Norfolk: $553K
- Richmond: $536K
- Roanoke: $261K
- Tri-Cities: $77K
- Harrisonburg: $55K
- Parkersburg: $47K
- Charlottesville: $44K
- Wheeling: $24K
Ohio: $1.3 million; running from June 16 to June 27
- Cleveland: $580K
- Cincinnati: $393K
- Dayton: $159K
- Youngstown: $121K
- Wheeling: $42K
Iowa: $1 million; running from June 16 to July 25
- Des Moines: $430K
- Cedar Rapids: $413K
- Omaha: $155K
- Ottumwa: $37K
Colorado: $926K; running from June 16 to July 4
- Denver: $729K
- Colorado Springs: $198K
New Hampshire: $764K; running from June 16 to July 25
- Boston (Manchester): $764K
Florida: $563K; running from June 16 to June 27
- West Palm Beach: $318K
- Mobile: $156K
- Panama City: $89K
North Carolina: $723K; running from June 14 to June 27
- Raleigh: $409K
- Greensboro: $160K
- Greenville: $154K
Nevada: $473K; running from June 16 to July 4
- Reno: $246K
- Las Vegas: $227K; running from June 28, to July 4