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 PelosiGiuliani pens op-ed slamming 'unprecedented' impeachment inquiry Brindisi, Lamb recommended for Armed Services, Transportation Committees Overnight Health Care: Top health official defends contract payments to Trump allies | Vaping advocates confident Trump will turn from flavor ban | Sanders gets endorsement from nurses union 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

With former President Obama out of the White House and Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrats worry they don't have right candidate to beat Trump Krystal Ball credits Gabbard's upswing in 2020 race to 'feckless' Democratic establishment Outsider candidates outpoll insider candidates 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 HandelOssoff raises 0k in first three weeks of Senate bid, campaign says McBath passes on running for Senate GOP buys JonOssoff.com after Democrat launches Georgia Senate bid MORE won by less than 10,000 votes.

The Pennsylvania and Georgia special elections both took place in districts President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump faces high stakes in meeting with Erdoğan amid impeachment drama Democrats worry they don't have right candidate to beat Trump Trump threatening to fire Mulvaney: report 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 Ryan Retirees should say 'no thanks' to Romney's Social Security plan California Governor Newsom and family dress as 2020 Democrats for Halloween DC's liaison to rock 'n' roll 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.