Biden sets his first climate ad in Trump country

Source: By Adam Aton, E&E News reporter • Posted: Tuesday, October 6, 2020

The Biden campaign is targeting Trump country with its first climate-centric TV ad.

The 60-second spot features a family of Michigan cherry farmers describing how rising temperatures have turned their fruits tart. The spot doesn’t mention President Trump or any of Joe Biden’s plans.

The ad will air in the Traverse City-Cadillac media market, a conservative corner of northern and western Michigan. In 2016, Trump won all of the market’s 25 counties as he narrowly carried the state.

Trump’s Michigan base remains concentrated in the northern and western regions, according to recent polling, with the suburban counties around Detroit poised as tipping points.

Although Biden is strongest in cities, Democrats hope his relative strength among older white voters can eat into Trump’s rural and suburban margins.

The climate ad is part of that strategy. Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, traveled last Friday to Grand Rapids, the biggest city in western Michigan, to campaign on his clean energy plans.

And his wife, Jill Biden, last week visited Traverse City, where she met with the farmers who later appeared in Biden’s climate ad.

“We’re really proud to be cherry farmers. If we are unable to do that based on the climate, it would really strip away what is so unique about this area,” one of the farmers, John King, says in the ad.

The Biden campaign declined to say how much money it is putting behind the climate ad or how long it will air. The campaign has earmarked $280 million for paid advertising through the fall.

It’s the first time Biden’s campaign has dedicated an entire paid television spot to climate. Previously, the campaign fit climate into ads pegged to Biden’s Build Back Better plan. It also published digital climate ads in June 2019, when the former vice president released his original climate plan during the Democratic primary.