- Republicans are blasting Democratic candidate Conor Lamb over the air in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District’s special election.
- People in Pittsburgh are overwhelmed by the onslaught of political advertising.
- More than $12 million has been spent on the race by Republicans and Democrats.
PITTSBURGH – Ask anyone in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District what they think of the huge special election taking place next week, and they’ll all mention the same thing – the onslaught of political ads.
You can’t watch more than 10 minutes of local TV within the district without seeing the latest spot blasting Democratic candidate and former assistant US Attorney Conor Lamb, an ad defending the congressional hopeful, or a commercial taking aim at his Republican opponent, Pennsylvania state Rep. Rick Saccone.
“Both campaigns have ran too many TV ads, mostly negative and lacking substantive information,” Justin DePlato, a political science professor at Robert Morris University and a delegate to the 2016 Republican National Convention representing the 18th district, told Business Insider, adding that “less attentive voters are irritated with the bombardment of TV” ads.
The seemingly non-stop stream of ads is a result of Republicans – and a well-funded Lamb campaign to some extent – pouring money into the district, which went for President Donald Trump by 20 points in 2016 but is now home to a neck-and-neck race.
The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that Republicans have spent more than $9 million on the race, which is taking place in a district that, as a result of redistricting in the state, will no longer exist in the fall. The National Republican Congressional Committee has spent more than $3.5 million, while the Congressional Leadership Fund has spent more than $3.1 million. The Lamb campaign has spent more than $3 million.
Republicans have sought to tie Lamb to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, criticized his record as assistant US attorney, and claimed that his election will be great for immigrants who are in the country illegally.
Here’s a sampling of the negative ads run against Lamb:
Lamb has tried to counter those ads, which he labeled as misleading or outright false. He’s also run a series of positive spots on himself:
There have also been multiple ads running in the district attacking Saccone, particularly his record as a state representative:
Saccone and his backers, meanwhile, have run a handful of positive ads:
Pittsburghers have taken to social media to bemoan the constant presence of the election ads. And some have been particularly critical of the negative ads against Lamb:
All these Rick Saccone commercials just remind me of the day (March 13th) that I can vote for Conor Lamb
— Taylore ???? (@quicksilvergrrl) March 7, 2018
Probably because Lamb’s commercials actually state his views and Saccone’s try to smear Lamb for cutting a deal with a drug dealer that probably got about 20 more drug dealers off the streets https://t.co/tW0V7wlXrk
— Jack Mellons (@JackSquad51) March 7, 2018
When is the Lamb/Saccone election? I need the attack commercials talking about Lamb defending drug kingpins and sexual harassers off of programming Ethan watches.
— Daydrink Believer (@wolverine66) March 7, 2018
Those Saccone commercials are airing continuously during shows like Judge Judy. The good news is that right after there is a Lamb commercial. Living here I wish I was more positive but still a lot of Trump support.
— Karen (@KarenLWeb) March 4, 2018
And I kid you not.. after I tweeted 4 commercials of rick saccone attacking his opponent Connor lamb just played back to back to back to back… disgusting..
— matt sedlak (@TheMattSedlak) March 4, 2018
In the span of 20 mins, I've seen like 10 pro Rick Saccone commercials & only like 2 pro Connor Lamb commercials. It's so obvious who Pennsylvania is pushing for in this election. I'm gonna spread the word to vote for Connor
— Daysha ???? (@deadinthewaterr) March 2, 2018
The GOP funded commercials on TV for Saccone in SW PA are disgusting and horrible. The GOP knows how to make elections horrible and unwatchable. EVERY Dem MUST vote to elect Conner Lamb.
— Mark D Johnson (@mdj5885) March 1, 2018
These hit piece commercials on Lamb are awful and fake. I’ve never voted for a democrat but these saccone ads are sickening.
— Jeff Rohm (@JayRoe19) February 28, 2018
Republicans spending more money on hate commercials against Democratic Lamb than providing positive info on their candidate. Lamb has responded without malice & with a hopeful msg toward the common ground. So disgusted by smear tactics & have no clue what Saccone stands for
— Jusmeee (@lynne_leeds) February 28, 2018
Is there any way to limit the Rick Saccone/Conor Lamb commercials to only those households in the 18th district?
— Michael Varley (@mvarley71) February 26, 2018
conor lamb commercials: vote for me 🙂 haha 🙂 i want a better future! 🙂
rick saccone commercials: CONOR LAMB ATE MY FIRSTBORN CHILD. CONOR LAMB WANTS ALL OF US D E A D IN A D U M P
— julianna chen (@jjuliannachen) February 25, 2018
The political ads against #Lamb are downright ugly & hateful with misrepresentations & outright lies. #Saccone team must be worried considering the production level . Pay attention to who is paying for these commercials & check them out.
— DeeAnn53 (@DeeAnn53) February 16, 2018
Back in Pittsburgh & watching TV for 30 minutes, have already seen 8 Lamb v Saccone commercials for the PA-18 special a month out.
— Tony Fratto (@TonyFratto) February 10, 2018