Democratic super PAC Priorities USA Action is launching its first paid ads since the end of the 2016 election on Friday, making sure voters know about local Republican-held town hall events with a series of digital spots.
The ads, due to run on social media, are designed to inform voters about local events held by GOP lawmakers in their area. The campaign is targeting over a dozen such town halls — including some in districts won by Hillary Clinton in November, like New Jersey Rep. Leonard Lance’s — and it also covers a Planned Parenthood event in Nevada targeting Sen. Dean Heller, who is regarded as one of the most vulnerable Republican senators up for reelection in 2018.
The ads direct voters to a site managed by the Indivisible group that hands them both information about the events and advice on what to do there. Democrats nationwide have wrestled with the question of how to fight back against Republicans and harness the energy of mass protests like January’s women’s march, and many have looked to town halls as a useful outlet — particularly after making an example of recent such events in Utah and California.
Priorities’ spots are targeted to people who they believe are more likely to become politically active in the aftermath of the recent protests.
“The upcoming recess week promises to provide even more scenes of grass-roots activism by everyday citizens concerned about our country’s future,” said Guy Cecil, Priorities’ chairman. “We are inspired by Indivisible and couldn’t be prouder to partner with them to empower those who want to make their voices heard and engage in social action. Republican lawmakers who refuse to stand up to Donald Trump should be prepared to answer for that to their constituents over the coming week, and beyond.”
Priorities became the largest Democratic super PAC ever during the 2016 cycle, raising $192 million to support Hillary Clinton’s White House bid. Since then, however, it has relaunched as a hub of left-leaning activity, hiring alums of both Clinton’s and Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaigns and convening liberal groups to map a path forward.
Among the group’s most prominent projects so far has been an effort to study both voters who supported Barack Obama before turning to Donald Trump, and those who backed Obama before deciding not to vote in 2016.