Republicans have backed away from messaging about the tax cut bill during the run-up to the special congressional election in Pennsylvania Tuesday, Politico reported.
Republican groups are now attacking the Democratic candidate Conor Lamb's record as a prosecutor and talking about sanctuary cities as they aim to push state Rep. Rick Saccone to a win, the report said.
Politico analyzed data from Advertising Analytics and found that, for the weeks of Feb. 4 and Feb. 11, around two-thirds of the broadcast TV ads from Saccone mentioned taxes. For the week of Feb. 18, 36 percent of the Saccone ads mentioned taxes.
Since March, only two ads mentioned the tax law — and one of them was from a progressive group attacking Saccone for supporting it, Politico reported.
Republican strategists said they continued to promote the tax cuts online and in mailers. "If the Democrats are willing to sign a deal that the only things we're allowed to argue about for the midterms are the tax cuts and Nancy Pelosi, show me the deal. I'll sign it right now," said Congressional Leadership Fund executive director Corry Bliss, Politico reported.
Democrats are saying that the tax cuts will not be the Republicans' lifesaver in the midterm elections.
"If the panacea for Republicans' midterm woes isn't working in a district that Trump won by 20 points, how is it supposed to save them in battleground districts that are far more competitive?" Democratic strategist Jesse Ferguson said in Politico.
Messaging that ties Lamb to Pelosi does appear to be more effective, Politico noted. In January, 45 percent thought Lamb supported Pelosi, and by late February, 57 percent believed that. Soon after, Lamb began airing ads that said he would not support Pelosi, Politico reported.
The Pennsylvania congressional seat came open when then-Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., resigned after revelations that he had pressured a woman he was in an affair with to have an abortion.
Republicans have spent more than $10 million to prevent a Democratic win in the district, which Trump won in 2016 by 20 points, CNN reported.
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