October 16, 2018

Trump Allies Double Down On ‘Mob’ Attack In Final Stretch Of Midterms

President Donald Trump's allies are increasingly embracing his argument that Democrats have become a "mob" heading into the final stretch of the midterm election, echoing his incendiary language in the hopes of motivating Republican voters to head to the polls in just three weeks.

America First Policies, the non-profit arm of the political action committee aligned with Trump, will launch a multi-state ad buy Tuesday aimed at turning out voters across 15 states with competitive Senate or congressional races. The $1.2 million digital campaign's first spot, titled "Division by Intimidation," will feature Democrats and protesters engaging in the kind of tactics Trump has sought to highlight during his most recent campaign stops.

"There's been a lot of talk about whether a left-wing mob exists in America. This powerful ad will leave no doubt that it does," said Erin Montgomery, the group's spokesperson.

The mob-themed turnout effort comes as Trump ramps up his rhetoric about Democratic tactics in the wake of Justice Brett Kavanaugh's bitter confirmation battle. Republicans across the country have sought to capitalize on the surge in enthusiasm among GOP voters generated by Kavanaugh's controversial installment on the high court earlier this month.

Trump allies argue the divisive rhetoric could help Republicans motivate potential voters across the GOP spectrum and not just members of Trump's dedicated base. "These kinds of messages are going to have just as much impact in the middle as they are on the right," said Marc Lotter, a former spokesman for Vice President Mike Pence and a frequent Trump defender on cable news.

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A source familiar with America First's get-out-the-vote efforts said Gingrich Productions, former House speaker and Trump ally Newt Gingrich's company, found the mob message effective in focus groups before producing the digital video. The ads will be aimed at low propensity Republican voters -- people who vote infrequently -- and the source said focus group tests found the mob message successful even among that category of less polarized voters.

America First's mobilization ads will play across nine congressional districts, almost all of which Trump won in 2016, with the exception of Republican Rep. Pete Sessions' district in Texas where the President lost by a single point.

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