Photo: Joe Biden at McKinley Elementary School, Des Moines, Iowa
Photo Credit: Phil Roeder / CC
Published March 30, 2021
By Krystal Hur [The Center for Responsive Politics] –
After President Joe Biden signed his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill into law on March 11, a host of left-leaning groups launched ad campaigns promoting his legislative efforts in hopes of locking in a sweeping victory for Democrats in 2022.
Democrats are wary of losing momentum and the slim majorities they hold in the Senate and House, so they view it as a pivotal time to remind voters of “Biden’s legislative accomplishment” as he tours the country to promote his relief bill.
On March 12, super PAC Unite the Country launched an ad campaign promoting Biden’s bill in swing states including Michigan and Wisconsin. The campaign totals seven figures, according to Politico. The pro-Biden super PAC spent nearly $39 million to boost Biden in the 2020 election.
Democrats’ flagship super PAC, Priorities USA Action, released two digital ads this month to support the president’s relief bill. The ads are part of a broader, multi-million dollar campaign to help Democrats achieve sweeping victories in the 2022 elections.
The campaign will focus on mobilizing voters in battleground states such as Pennsylvania and Georgia. Priorities USA Action spent about $138.3 million during the 2020 election cycle to boost Biden and other Democrats.
The Democratic National Committee also launched a “Help is Here” ad touting Biden’s relief bill on March 12 as part of a new ad campaign.
In conjunction with the ad, the DNC also released a guide advising Democrats on how to promote the bill. The 60-second TV ad features Biden promising to expedite vaccine distribution and send direct payments of $1,400 per person to American households among other goals.
The DNC, which spent about $462.4 million in the 2020 election, also put up billboards in key election states such as Florida and Iowa. “If someone is running for dog catcher in Des Moines, or running to register deeds in Wyoming, we want them to talk about this,” DNC spokeswoman Adrienne Watson told CNN. “In fact, we will make sure they are armed to the teeth with what it does and why it’s so historic.”
On March 16, American Bridge 21st Century released an ad pushing Biden’s stimulus package as part of a $100 million effort to uplift Democrats before the 2022 midterms. The super PAC’s outside spending totaled almost $59.7 million in the 2020 election cycle.
Other Democratic groups running ads to help the party’s upcoming election chances include left-leaning healthcare coalition Protect Our Care and House leadership-affiliated “dark money” group House Majority Forward, which kicked off a $1.4 million campaign to “bolster nine vulnerable House Democrats who backed the COVID relief package,” according to Axios.
There has been some pushback from Republican-aligned groups, such as ads condemning House Democrats and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) “liberal stimulus,” according to the Wall Street Journal — but it’s relatively muted.
While Democratic groups have funneled money into spotlighting Biden’s legislation, they have also spent funds pressuring the president to make more sweeping legislative changes.
Biden is expected to announce his multi-trillion dollar infrastructure plan, which promises to create millions of jobs and advance clean energy efforts, during his visit to Pittsburgh next week.
A coalition of labor and Democratic groups stands ready to advocate for Biden’s Build Back Better plan and cheer his relief bill with a $10 million ad campaign.
The newly launched unit, Real Recovery Now!, includes groups such as the Center for American Progress Action Fund and the National Domestic Workers Alliance/Care in Action.
Another coalition composed of environmental groups, called The Great American Build, set up its own $10 million campaign to pressure Biden into pushing a climate-change focused infrastructure plan. The first ad aired on March 16 called the fight to tackle climate change “the job of our lifetime.”