TV ad digest: Inflation takes over the airwaves

Millions of Americans have felt the squeeze of inflation lately. And recent political advertising has reflected these anxieties — this month, the number of ads on inflation and taxation have increased each week, according to AdImpact.

Broadly, Republicans continue to dominate the airwaves on the subject — attempting to tie the rising costs to Democratic control, while Democratic advertisers have tried to remind voters of legislative salves they’ve passed before.

Candidates like Maryland’s Glenn Ivey, a Democratic House hopeful in Maryland’s D.C. suburbs, aimed to showcase their relatability to families struggling to make ends meet. In Connecticut, Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont highlighted a couple dealing discussing increased prices with their family. He brought “relief” to the family, the woman in the ad said.

“He understood what we were going through and helped the actual people out here in Connecticut,” her husband added.

Democratic nonprofit Majority Forward has released a new ad in favor of incumbent Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz), claiming that “it doesn’t matter who you are — Democrats, Republicans, independents — the economy affects all of us. We need leaders who recognize that.”

The narration continues to promote Kelly’s support of renewable energy jobs and apprenticeships.

But the new spots from Democrats pale in comparison to the spending and quantity of Republican-sponsored advertisements, particularly from outside groups.

Over the last two days, American Action Network released a slate of ads centering “wasteful spending” from Democratic leaders, airing new videos asking hypotheticals like, “Why does everything cost more?” and, in the case of one Arizona district, “Why is [Rep.] Greg Stanton making things worse?” The spots have aired in Washington state, Michigan, Arizona, Connecticut, Kansas, Maine and Minnesota — six of which have upcoming primaries in August. The group announced it was spending $4 million on the push.

One Nation has also jumped on the Georgia, Arizona and Wisconsin markets with four new spots this week, spending nearly $1 million and counting to slam Democratic senators in those states for passing “frivolous” spending bills. Two videos against Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) urge him to not side with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Joe Biden and stop the increase in government spending.

The National Republican Congressional Committee faulted Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) in a wider ad blaming House Democrats for high prices at the pump. The National Republican Senatorial Committee has launched two hits on gas, oil and grocery costs in the Pennsylvania and Nevada markets against Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.). A rare spend from the Republican Governors Association released Friday accuses Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly for being part of a “radical agenda” that’s out of touch with the future.

The subject of both ads? The fact that now, gas costs “five bucks a gallon.”


The Chamber of Progress, a trade group headed by a former Google lobbyist, released eight versions of an ad on Wednesday called “Real Problems,” spread across Georgia, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and western states like Montana and Arizona. The ad urges voters to stop “wasting time with laws that would break your smartphone” and oppose Senate Bill 2992.

As a Supreme Court decision that could potentially overturn Roe v. Wade nears, Planned Parenthood has aired a spot”,”_id”:”00000181-7363-de12-add1-fb63fa7f0000″,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}”>Planned Parenthood has aired a spot centering the fact that “1 in 4 women will have an abortion” while sharing stories from different people who have undergone the procedure. The ad was released today in the Washington D.C. market.

Ohio Senate candidate Tim Ryan aired a pro-police ad against opponent J.D. Vance on Thursday. Stark County sheriff George Maier says Vance’s comments on law enforcement being corrupt and policy plans “makes me angry [and] my job harder.” He adds that Ryan thinks “defunding the police is ridiculous.” Ryan tweeted yesterday that his campaign has missed “three fundraising goals in a row,” which could result in him cutting back on ad time.

TOP CANDIDATE SPENDING (6/10/22 – 6/17/22, per AdImpact): 

  • Pritzker for IL Governor: $1,953,742
  • Delgado for NY Lt. Governor: $1,488,408
  • Warnock for GA Senate: $1,137,236
  • Irvin for IL Governor: $1,059,130
  • Bailey for IL Governor: $1,040,125


  • Computer and Communications Industry Association PAC: $4,330,922
  • Democratic Governors Association: $2,754,022
  • National Republican Senatorial Committee: $2,630,215
  • Coalition for Safe Responsible Gaming: $2,501,349
  • One Nation: $2,423,589


About the author


Leave a Comment