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More than one-third of GOP's midterm House ads target Pelosi

More than one-third of GOP's midterm House ads target Pelosi
© Greg Nash

Republicans running for House seats in 2018 have featured House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiBiden backs 0B compromise coronavirus stimulus bill US records over 14 million coronavirus cases On The Money: COVID-19 relief picks up steam as McConnell, Pelosi hold talks | Slowing job growth raises fears of double-dip recession | Biden officially announces Brian Deese as top economic adviser MORE (D-Calif.) in 34 percent of their broadcast ads, according to data provided to USA Today.

The number of times Pelosi — who has been a longtime target of the GOP — is being featured in attack ads this year marks a significant hike from past elections.

She was featured in 13 percent of ads in 2014 and 9 percent of ads in 2016, USA Today noted.

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With former President Obama out of the White House and Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHillary and Chelsea Clinton to host series based on their book 'Gutsy Women' Democrats see spike in turnout among Asian American, Pacific Islander voters Biden officially announces ex-Obama official Brian Deese as top economic adviser MORE’s failed presidential bid in 2016, Pelosi has become the main face of the Democratic party, making her a prime target for Republicans.

Although the GOP often likes to tie Pelosi to a Democratic candidate, it is not clear that the strategy has been successful.

Despite the minority leader appearing in 58 percent of all GOP ads in the March special election for Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District, Democrat Conor Lamb was able to seize a narrow victory and distance himself from Pelosi by saying he wouldn’t back her for leadership if he won and if Democrats took back the House in November's midterms.

However, Pelosi was also featured in 55 percent of all Republican ads in last year’s special election in Georgia’s 6th District, which Republican Karen HandelKaren Christine HandelMcBath wins rematch against Handel in Georgia House race House Democrats' campaign arm reserves .6M in ads in competitive districts Black Lives Matter movement to play elevated role at convention MORE won by less than 10,000 votes.

The Pennsylvania and Georgia special elections both took place in districts President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him Biden: Trump attending inauguration is 'of consequence' to the country Biden says family will avoid business conflicts MORE won in 2016.

Many analysts expect a massive Democratic turnout in the 2018 midterm elections that could flip the House to Democratic control.

The last time Pelosi was heavily featured in GOP ads was during the 2010 midterm elections when Republicans took back control of the House during Obama's first term.

Although it isn’t clear if featuring Pelosi in ads helps Republicans, attacks against her have triggered mixed reactions from Democrats, with many Democratic candidates running in more conservative districts choosing to distance themselves from the minority leader.

Pelosi has been targeted much more than other congressional leaders in recent years, USA Today noted. Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanAmerican Greatness editor on how Trump's abandonment of populism affected 2020 election Paul Ryan calls for Trump to accept results: 'The election is over' Bottom line MORE (R-Wis.) has been the target in only 5 percent of Democratic House ads this year.

Democrats will likely target Trump over congressional leadership heavily in midterm contests.