The largest anti-impeachment campaign to date has hit the Pennsylvania airwaves.
American Action Network, a GOP connected group that describes itself as promoting “center-right policies based on the principles of freedom, limited government, American exceptionalism, and strong national security,” launched television ads airing in 20 Congressional Districts and digital ads in 37 Congressional Districts that include Reps. Matt Cartwright (D-Lackawanna), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks), Conor Lamb (D-Allegheny), and Scott Perry (R-York).
The group has pledged to spend $300,000 on television and digital ads targeting Cartwright and Lamb, attempting to link both Democratic congressmen to the impeachment effort, calling the investigation a “politically motivated charade.”
“This is about preventing a potentially disastrous outcome from occurring next year,” said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), at the beginning of the television ad.
“Now, it’s crystal clear. Their partisan impeachment is a politically motivated charade,” a voiceover continues to say.
The ad continues to say that both congressmen, who voted for the impeachment inquiry, are not focused on border security, healthcare, and passing Trump’s proposed USMCA trade pact.
The ad ends with urging residents to call the offices of both representatives and tell them to vote “no” on impeachment and “get to work.”
Politico reports that the overall ad campaign, which is $7 million in 37 Congressional Districts, is the “most expansive, coordinated ad campaign on impeachment to date.” A spokesperson for American Action Network told PoliticsPA that the ads, which started airing on Monday, will extend into the first week of December, although it is expected to extend past that.
Both the Cartwright and Lamb campaign fired back saying that they are focused on issues important to their district.
“Congressman Cartwright will not be intimidated by dark money special interest groups from Washington, DC and remains focused on fighting for the hardworking families of Northeastern Pennsylvania by creating good paying jobs, providing affordable healthcare, lowering the cost of prescription drugs, and fully funding veterans programs,” said Cartwright Campaign Manager, Colleen Gerrity.
“This dark money group has spent a fortune lying about Conor Lamb for the past two years, so this is nothing new,” said Lamb Campaign Manager, Abby Nassif Murphy. “People in western Pennsylvania know nonsense when they hear it.”
Both Cartwright and Lamb, along with Pennsylvania’s 7 other Democrats in their Congressional delegation, voted for the impeachment inquiry in late October, while all 9 Republicans in the state’s Congressional delegation voted against the impeachment inquiry.
Although Cartwright and Lamb voted for the impeachment inquiry, neither has indicated their intention for the final vote.
While the American Action Network is hitting Cartwright and Lamb on the vote, they’ve also pledged support in the form of digital ads for Fitzpatrick and Perry.
The group is using digital ads in 7 districts around the country, with two of them being in Pennsylvania, thanking them for “standing against impeachment.”
A spokesperson for the group tells PoliticsPA that they are spending $100,000 for Fitzpatrick and $50,000 for Perry’s district.
Recent Pennsylvania polling shows that support of impeachment, much like the state’s congressional delegation, falls along party lines.
A Morning Call/Muhlenberg College poll released last week showed that 51% of registered voters in the state support the impeachment inquiry, while 47% oppose it. Registered voters were even more divided when asked if they believe if Trump should be impeached and removed from office. 49% support impeaching and removing Trump from the presidency due to his actions, while 48% opposed it. A Franklin & Marshall College poll released on Oct. 31 showed that 57% of registered voters in Pennsylvania polled said they support an impeachment inquiry into Trump, while 47% of those polled said they “strongly support” in impeachment inquiry effort, and 37% said they “strongly oppose” it.
Both polls were released prior to the impeachment hearings.
Cartwright and Lamb both represent boundaries that Trump carried in 2016.
Trump won Cartwright’s district by close to 10 points in 2016. Cartwright bested Republican Matt Connolly by a 7.6 point margin in 2016 and won by a slightly larger margin in 2018 by taking down GOP candidate John Chrin by just over 9 points.
Trump narrowly edged out Clinton in Lamb’s district in 2016. Lamb won his first race in March 2018 in the old 18th Congressional district by about .5 points in boundaries that went to Trump by a wide margin, while he coasted to a double digit victory in Nov. 2018 in the 17th Congressional District over Rep. Keith Rothfus (R-Allegheny) by 12.5 points.
Cartwright, Lamb and Susan Wild (D-Lehigh), have been targeted by the NRCC as seats to flip in 2020.