Battleground states | Everytown invests $4.5 million in its final message in six states.

In ads attacking President Donald Trump's performance, the organization created by Mike Bloomberg makes a connection between the coronavirus outbreak and gun safety.

In the last weeks leading up to the November election, Everytown for Gun Safety will spend an additional $4.5 million on advertising, linking the need for gun control to the coronavirus outbreak in numerous TV and online commercials.


To organize supporters, Everytown, co-founded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is distributing its funding across six crucial battleground states. The campaign is a part of $60 million in spending on the 2020 election cycle, which is twice as much as the group spent on the last election cycle.


Everyone is spending $2 million on unfavorable TV advertisements in Texas to target two contested open House districts. The group criticizescriticizes Republican Troy Nehls, who is challenging Democrat Sri Kulkarni in Texas' 22nd District, for receiving support from the National Rifle Association. The advertisement criticizes Republican Beth Van Duyne, who is challenging Democrat Candace Valenzuela in Texas' 24th District, for accepting contributions from the NRA.


Additionally, Everytown is investing $1.4 million in TV and online advertisements to turn the state legislatures of Arizona, Iowa, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Texas from Republicans to Democrats. In one digital advertisement, the narrator informs North Carolina voters that "Covid-19 is not the only public health concern affecting North Carolina families." Republicans in the North Carolina state legislature have been unable to take the necessary steps to keep the public safe despite an increase in gun crime and COVID-19 deaths.


A further $1 million will be spent on direct mail, TV, and internet commercials aimed at registering voters in Arizona, North Carolina, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota.


The 2020 election will be overshadowed by issues like the coronavirus and a faltering economy, which are unrelated to Everytown's main cause: tougher gun control. Everyone questioned whether the political mood had been altered when the coronavirus outbreak struck in March. The same question was posed to us, too," said John Feinblatt, executive director of Everytown for Gun Safety.


Everytown spent the spring researching ways to improve its messaging and discovered that linking the coronavirus and gun violence together would be a powerful approach to influence voters.


When you combine the devastation caused by both Covid and gun violence with legislative inaction to address both crises, it becomes very potent, according to polling, Feinblatt said. "When you talk about how many people have died from COVID, from gun violence, and you place the blame at the feet of lawmakers, what you discover is that Americans want to know what their legislators are going to do to keep them safe."


A TV commercial that ran in Florida and Arizona this month linked President Donald Trump's inauguration speech to the epidemic and gun violence, offering one particularly graphic illustration.


Donald Trump cautions against American carnage as he takes the oath of office. He was accurate. The announcer of the advertisement adds, over foreboding music, "Four fatal years of Trump's disastrous leadership. "200,000 more from Covid-19; 125,000 dead from gun violence. Trump is now threatening the carnage that will occur if he is not reelected.


The advertisement says, "As the death toll rises, Donald Trump is failing America by downplaying, denying, and refusing to act."


Everytown's campaign was the best-performing 30-second negative ad on Trump last month, according to a review by Civis Analytics, a Democratic analytics company that conducts randomized trials evaluating the effectiveness of ads.


According to Jesse Stinebring, managing director for political research and development at Civis Analytics, it "[contextualized] the gun violence catastrophe within the Covid dilemma" and "their autumn TV spot effectively shifted the needle in raising support for Democratic candidates."


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