While some candidates have focused their attention on culture war issues to rile up their base, campaigns and outside groups on both sides of the aisle have spent big money pushing persuasion messaging around kitchen table issues.
On the Democratic side, outside groups like Progress Virginia and Family Friendly Economy have been running digital ads around kitchen table policies that benefit workers, like paid family and medical leave.
Both groups have spent 2019 running long-term, issue-oriented digital persuasion programs on a scale not currently matched by any Virginia-specific outside organizations. Longtime readers of FWIW Virginia likely recognize both organizations from their frequent appearances in the top weekly spenders in Virginia, and Progress Virginia and Family Friendly Economy have been the top-spending outside groups on Facebook.
While many of the ads run by both Family Friendly Economy and Progress Virginia are still exclusively focused on persuasion, Progress Virginia has begun running ads focused explicitly on turning Virginians out to vote. This shift towards voter turnout is a break from the ads Progress Virginia ran earlier in the summer, which didn’t include any turnout messaging.
One of our top spenders this week, the Virginia Democratic Party, through their Take the Majority brand, is running persuasion and name ID boosting digital ads for candidates in their competitive House of Delegates and State Senate elections. Many of these ads focus on middle and working-class messaging around kitchen table issues, featuring copy like “she’s working to help all Virginia families get by.”
On the Republican side, the Koch-funded, anti-union group Americans for Prosperity has begun running ads to boost the name IDs of Republican candidates in competitive races. Of course, they don’t mention that the “policies that help improve [Virginians] lives” are opposing Democratic efforts to repeal Right to Work and make the minimum wage a living wage.