Biden’s New Ads Focus on Small Business Owners Unable to Receive Covid Aid

This screenshot of a craft beer brewer is from one of several new ads launched by the Biden campaign in battleground states.

(CN) — Former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign on Wednesday announced a new ad blitz featuring small business owners in the battleground states Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Arizona.

The four ads feature hair salon owners from Phoenix and Pittsburgh, and a soap maker and a craft beer brewer from Rocky Mount, North Carolina — all lamenting the fact that they couldn’t get pandemic relief loans under the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program.

“It’s so frustrating that big corporations got millions in PPP before small businesses like ours,” said a Phoenix salon co-owner identified only as Dina in one ad.

In another ad, a North Carolina brewery owner identified only as Celeste says she likes Joe Biden because she believes he can unify the country.

“You have to be able to listen,” she said. “Joe Biden’s past service gives me hope because he’s a unifier. He’s a listener.”

In Florida, Republican Voters Against Trump announced an October ad campaign, Project Orange Crush, aimed at about 730,000 Floridians the political action committee called “soft” Republicans and independents, mostly in Tampa, Fort Myers, Sarasota, Miami and West Palm Beach.

One ad in that $4 million run features Trump voters explaining why they changed their minds; another contrasts Trump’s “divisive and chaotic” presidency with Biden’s career of “unity and resolve,” the group said in a news release.

In Arizona, similar ads will run in and around Phoenix, where more than half the state’s 7.2 million residents live, aimed at about 300,000 voters, said Tim Miller, the group’s political director.

Both campaigns will target primarily white, suburban, college educated voters — disproportionately women — who either voted for Trump, didn’t vote or chose a third-party candidate in 2016, Miller said.

“We’re hyper-targeting these folks,” he said.

The Biden campaign now has video ads running digitally and on television in 13 states — Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Nebraska, and Minnesota. The campaign also this week announced a radio ad campaign that will run in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Nebraska, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Polls out this week and posted by FiveThirtyEight.com, which compiles political polls from across the nation, show a tight race in Arizona, with President Donald Trump leading 49% to 48% in one survey and Biden with a single digit lead in three others. 

Five Florida polls show Biden leading in three with a maximum lead of 3%, Trump leading one poll 51% to 47%, and one survey giving each candidate 47%, FiveThirtyEight reported.

Two North Carolina polls showed the candidates in a statistical dead-heat, and three Pennsylvania polls had Biden leading by a maximum of 5%.

Ultimately, the ads aren’t likely to change very many minds, said Yotam Shmargad, a University of Arizona political science assistant professor.

Undecided voters are a small percentage of the electorate, and changing a voter’s mind is very difficult, so the main goal of most ads at this late stage is not getting voters in your camp, Shmargad said.

“The big question is whether people are going to turn out or not,” he said.

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