One week out from the Iowa caucuses, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) wants voters to know one thing: She’s as electable as they come. Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg is hoping voters go to their caucuses thinking the same thing about him. Joe Biden too.
After nearly a year of campaigning and debating differences in their platforms, most of the leading Democratic presidential candidates are making their final messages, as seen through their television ads, about President Donald Trump. Specifically, that they are best positioned to beat him.
Warren’s campaign, once defined almost exclusively by its policy plans, released two ads Monday, one featuring her extended family, mostly Republicans, saying they’ll vote for her. The second resembled a general election ad; shot after shot showed Warren in direct contrast to Trump. The ad’s title: “Why She Will Beat Him.”
“I’m Elizabeth Warren and I approve this message because I’m going to beat him,” Warren says in another TV ad her campaign released last week, titled “Trump Is Nervous.” By Monday morning, the campaign had spent more than $213,000 on the ad, airing it more than 940 times over seven days in all the major Iowa media markets.
The opening line of one of Buttigieg’s final TV pushes in Iowa was a testimonial from state Sen. Bill Dotzler: “He has the greatest chance of defeating Donald Trump.”
Biden’s campaign released an ad that made no mention of policy at all, and instead included head-to-head polls that showed the former vice president beating Trump in swing states.
“This is no time to take a risk,” the female narrator said in the Biden ad. “We need our strongest candidate. So let’s nominate the Democrat Trump fears the most. Vote Biden. Beat Trump.”
There are some exceptions in the field. Most notably, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who has made a splash in Iowa in the final weeks, isn’t making electability his final rallying cry in the days...