Based on what you hear from the chattering class in DC, you’d think that Democrats are all but committed to running on nothing but an “anti-Trump” message in 2018. Democratic leaders, including cable TV regular Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), implore their candidates to “not take the bait” on pushing the issue of impeachment, but should “continue to focus on the economy, family and a return to basic decency.”
Meanwhile, talk to any Republican in town, and they are convinced that Democrats are going to be unable to resist the siren song of impeachment should they gain control of the House in 2019.
But, if you look at the actual messaging that Democrats and Republicans are using in their primary campaigns thus far, you’ll see that Republicans are much more likely to bring up Trump positively than Democrats are to bash him.
The ad-tracking firm CMAG Kantar Media found that since the beginning of January, there have been more than 70,718 ads run that mention Trump positively. That compares to just 27,973 ads that negatively mention the president. In other words, Republicans have been more willing to embrace the president than Democrats are to denounce him. In looking at advertising for the May 8 primaries, the Wesleyan Media Project found that “[w]hile Democrats are primarily mentioning the policy issues that are mainstays of political campaigns—such as healthcare, the economy and Social Security—Republicans are talking more about particular politicians, expressing their support for Trump and attacking Obama and Clinton.