Jones Excludes Alabama Voters From Ad Opposing Border Declaration

Doug Jones / Getty

Democratic senator Doug Jones has excluded Alabama voters from seeing digital ads highlighting his opposition to President Donald Trump's emergency declaration on border security.

On Tuesday, the Alabama senator's reelection committee launched a Facebook ad showcasing his decision to support a resolution rebuking the president for using a national emergency declaration to curb illegal immigration and crime by constructing a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

"The House just voted to block the declaration of national emergency," the ad states. "With this measure now moving to the Senate, here's where Doug stands: ‘I am against this national emergency declaration, and I will vote to stop it. Running circles around our Constitution and the will of the people is no way to govern.'"

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To accompany the ad, Jones's campaign linked to a petition asking supporters to "stand with" the senator in opposition to Trump.

"There's a time when you have to stand with the president regardless of party," the petition reads. "But there's always a time when you have to stand with the Constitution regardless of who the president or party leadership is. What's wrong is wrong. And no leader of either party should let the president do this. I really need your support on this."

Left out of the reach of Jones's appeal for support are Alabama voters. As denoted by Facebook's ad archives, Jones's campaign was programmed to specifically target the news feeds of older individuals in Texas as well as the heavily liberal states of California, Massachusetts, and New York.

Such donors were pivotal to Jones's victory over Roy Moore in the 2017 Senate special election to replace Jeff Sessions, who had left his seat to serve as attorney general. In that race, more than 84 percent ($16.9 million) of Jones's campaign donations came from outside of Alabama, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Jones's campaign, however, is not totally ignoring Alabama voters. Instead of showcasing the senator's stance on border security, the campaign launched an ad touting his efforts to introduce a "bipartisan disaster relief" package on Tuesday.

"Proud to work with my colleagues across the aisle to support farmers who suffered crop damage during Hurricane Michael," the ad states. "Time to actually give them the help they've been promised."

Facebook's ad archives show the bipartisan-themed campaign was largely set to appear in the news feeds of individuals between the ages of 25 and 34 in the states of Georgia, Florida, and Alabama.

The divergent ads showcase the tightrope Jones has to walk between the Democratic Party's liberal base and his conservative state ahead of his 2020 reelection race. In 2016, Trump carried Alabama overwhelmingly over former secretary of state Hillary Clinton. Jones, on the other hand, captured his seat by less than 22,000 votes after sexual misconduct allegations were leveled against Moore.

The president and his administration's policy remain popular in the state. Trump has a 58 percent approval rating among Alabama's registered voters, according to a survey by Morning Consult released earlier this month. In January, a similar survey by Morning Consult measuring the job approval ratings of incumbent senators found that Jones's net approval dropped 17 points over the course of his first year in office.