I spoke to Sam Stein of the Daily Beast about the down-ballot dynamic in the 2020 Senate races and messaging around the pandemic.
The down-ballot Republican Senate candidates seem aware of those risks. In their ads—many of which were released before the most recent jobs report—they often acknowledge the economic hole the country is facing before spotlighting their efforts to help pull their states out of it. In a spot she released earlier this month, Collins called the current situation an “economic crisis” and touted the work she’s done to expand small business loans. In an ad he put out earlier this month, Gardner described the current landscape as “America’s fragile environment” before going through a list of bills he’s helped pass. And in his most recent spot, Tillis explicitly noted that one million North Carolinians are out of work.
“You absolutely need to be careful not to spike the football in the second quarter of the pandemic, with five months and several jobs reports left to go,” said Liam Donovan, a veteran of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. “If people need to be convinced of how great things are, the recovery probably hasn’t caught up to them yet, so effective messaging has to be more circumspect.”
Read the full piece here.