|HUPAC Roundup: How Democrats Have Co-Opted the ACA in Political Ads This Election|
The primaries are finally over. Wrapping up the long season was New York’s gubernatorial primary, in which Democrat incumbent Andrew Cuomo defeated political newcomer Cynthia Nixon. |
Democrats and Republicans are now grappling with how to protect the upcoming elections from cybercrimes and election interference. Democrats in the Senate are pushing for a legislative amendment that would collectively grant states another $250 million to upgrade their voting systems, but Republicans maintain that the initial funding that Congress granted earlier in the year is sufficient to ensure safe voting systems. The Washington Post published public polling that showed a majority of Americans wanting more action from the administration on election security.
Meanwhile, with election security measures stalled in the Senate, tech firms are stepping up and offering help to political candidates and campaigns to protect themselves from cyber threats. The free tools that many firms are offering help discover fraudulent versions of campaign websites designed to fool voters. In certain states, election security advocates face legal barriers. In Georgia, one of five states that use paperless voting machines, a federal judge struck down a motion by advocates to compel the Secretary of State to end the use of paperless voting machines by Election Day. Cybersecurity experts say that paperless machines are less secure than machines that produce a paper backup. Understandably, voters are concerned about this issue; 21 states experienced probing of their election infrastructure during the 2016 Presidential election.
Several themes have stood out so far this year for political campaign advertisements. The dominant theme this cycle has unsurprisingly been healthcare. While the ACA was once a favorite target by Republican ads, the administration’s attempt to overhaul the law puts it back in the spotlight among Democrats. The Democrats are firmly defending the provision that protects individuals with pre-existing conditions, amidst several Republican state attorneys general joining in a lawsuit against the protection. Other Democratic health-related ads focus on a personal connection to health policy, or their opponent’s stance, and which incumbents voted for the House’s American Health Care Act, which would have rescinded major parts of the ACA. Among Republicans, health care didn’t play such a large role in political advertisements, but many of the candidates promised to repeal and replace Obamacare, and provide better alternatives. Instead, immigration and tax reform were the top priorities of Republicans and their ads this cycle.
Also prominent in political campaign ads is the topic of gun control and immigration. Both anti-gun control and pro-gun control ads have made up a 10.9% share of all ads, up from 3.1% in 2014. These campaign ads are largely comprised of pro-gun control messages, a sign that Democratic candidates see the issue as motivating to their voter base. Republican candidates have shared messages about Second amendment rights and their high NRA ratings. Similarly, immigration reform, which once made up a 4% share of advertising messaging, has ballooned to 16% this year. Advertisements in favor of President Trump’s immigration policies make up a majority of the 269,809 immigration ads aired. The ACA, gun control, and immigration reform are issues that now resonate with all Americans, and political candidates have been quick to capitalize on people’s concerns to further their campaigns.
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…HUPAC is a bipartisan political action committee? We support Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike. It is not the party affiliation we look at but whether they support agents and brokers. The R or D in front of their name does not always tell the full story. There are Republicans who would like to dismantle the employer based system for health insurance and put a lot of agents and brokers out of work and there are Democrats who support a single payer system that would also put agents and brokers out of work. Instead we look at members of Congress and candidates who have expressed their support for private sector solutions in health care and co-sponsored legislation that is supportive of our legislative agenda. Click here to support the PAC today.
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