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‘It Could Get a Lot Worse’: Dem Super PAC Unveils Midterm Messaging Strategy

Priorities USA will spend $30 million on digital ads in battleground states

• January 31, 2022 12:10 pm

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A top liberal super PAC is employing an unusual message in an attempt to boost Democrats ahead of the November midterm elections: Things "could get a lot worse" than they already are under President Joe Biden.

Priorities USA will spend $30 million on digital ads in battleground states including Michigan, Arizona, and Georgia, Politico reported Monday. But the ads will not focus on Democratic candidates or other "typical" messages, Priorities USA chairman Guy Cecil told the outlet. Instead, Cecil said, the eight-figure campaign will assure voters that the direction of the country "could get a lot worse," a tacit acknowledgment that things haven't gone well with Biden in the White House.

"Over the last three months, we have been running some programs that specifically look at how we improve Biden's favorability rating among those voters," Cecil said. "A lot of these people just want to disengage with politics. They're tired of it. It can't be a typical ad where the primary focus is the candidate. It is about helping them understand how much difference their vote actually made and pointing out that it could get a lot worse."

The unconventional messaging strategy comes at a time when nearly 80 percent of the country is "dissatisfied with the way things are going," according to a December Gallup poll. Republicans also hold double-digit advantages over Democrats on most major issues such as the economy, border security, and crime, making it difficult for Cecil and other liberal operatives to argue that a GOP majority in Congress would worsen the problem. As Biden deals with decade-high inflation, for example, voters favor Republicans to handle the economy by an 18-point margin, an October NBC News poll shows.

Prior to its spending to defend Biden, Priorities USA served as the primary super PAC for former president Barack Obama and failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. It is far from the only leading Democratic political group to announce big-money midterm investments—billionaire liberal megadonor George Soros on Friday unveiled a $125 million contribution to his own campaign spending entity, Democracy PAC. According to Soros's son, the group will focus on "ongoing efforts to discredit and undermine our electoral process."