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Exclusive: Democrats Flood Airwaves with Health Care Ads, While GOP Spots Tout Trump in 2018 Midterms

WASHINGTON – Senate Democratic candidates and allied outside groups have devoted more than 40 percent of their TV ads this year to health care – spending a combined $17 million on spots pledging to protect people with pre-existing conditions, fight for lower drug prices and guard against cuts to Medicare.

The sharp focus on health care from Democrats stands in contrast to a more diffuse message on the GOP side. In hotly contested races across the country, Republicans and the GOP-leaning groups have divided their ad dollars on a broader set of issues – spending about $10.5 million on spots embracing President Donald Trump, $14 million on ads touting the GOP tax law and $7.6 million on commercials highlighting a hard line on immigration.

The divergent ad strategies – based on a USA TODAY analysis of data from Kantar Media – offers a snapshot of Senate races as the primary season draws to a close and candidates pivot toward the general election only three months away.


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