Affordable Care Act Obamacare
Carolyn Kaster/AP

Democrats Are Taking Their Obamacare Push to Local News

It’s part of a new strategy pushing into local media.

The Democratic National Committee is unveiling a tried-and-true message in an unusual setting on Friday.

Across eight newspapers in seven battleground states, the political committee is buying digital ads focused on the Affordable Care Act, criticizing former President Donald Trump’s plan to repeal the health care law widely known as “Obamacare.”

The ads, which will appear on each newspaper’s homepage, are part of a wider push from Democrats and President Joe Biden to make the presumed GOP nominee’s opposition to the ACA a bigger part of the 2024 election, convinced doing so will help them win over many moderate and suburban voters.

The venue for the message, however, is more surprising: Even large newspapers have long been an afterthought for the paid media arm of a presidential campaign, which usually spends hundreds of millions of dollars on TV and other digital venues like YouTube.

But DNC officials say the decision to place ads in the newspapers is part of a burgeoning strategy to use the outlets during the 2024 campaign, citing polls showing that many voters trust local news sources more than national media. Some of the outlets targeted Friday also historically serve Black readers.

Political strategists also say that with record amounts of money expected to be spent this year reaching voters, campaigns will need to be creative in spending the excess cash, trying to reach new and different voters in unconventional ways.

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A DNC official declined to say how much the committee was spending on the ads debuting Friday, which were first shared with NOTUS.

“Donald Trump wants the American people to know that he’ll stop at nothing to ‘terminate’ lifesaving health care protections for the millions of people who rely on the Affordable Care Act, so we’re making sure voters hear him loud and clear in the outlets they know and trust,” DNC spokesperson Rhyan Lake said in a statement.

The newspapers included in the ad buy are The Atlanta Voice, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Arizona Capitol Times, The Charlotte Post, The Triangle Tribune, Las Vegas Sun, Grand Rapids Press and Milwaukee Courier. Each resides in one of the seven top presidential battleground states: Georgia, Pennsylvania, Arizona, North Carolina, Nevada, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Alex Roarty is a reporter at NOTUS.