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The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee launched a new digital ad campaign Thursday framed around the “Jimmy Kimmel test” that targets Republicans in a dozen pivotal midterm election states, the committee told Business Insider.
In the 12 states, people will see the ads when searching terms on Google such as “the Jimmy Kimmel test,” “health care,” “Jimmy Kimmel,” and “repeal,” all of which have shot up the charts on Google after Kimmel’s stand against the Graham-Cassidy healthcare proposal on his late-night show this week.
The ads will redirect those who click to the DSCC’s already existing healthcare ad titled “The Price.” The new campaign is a part of an ongoing six-figure digital ad buy, according to the DSCC, which shared the plans with Business Insider ahead of an announcement.
Republican lawmakers and candidates in Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin will be targeted. Those 12 states host most of what are set to be closest Senate races in 2018.
Some of the politicians being singled out include Sens. Dean Heller of Nevada, Ted Cruz of Texas, and Bob Corker of Tennessee, as well as Gov. Rick Scott of Florida.
“There’s a reason Republicans’ toxic health care agenda would hurt Jimmy Kimmel’s family and hardworking families across the country: it spikes costs, imposes an age tax on older Americans, and guts coverage for pre-existing conditions,” Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesman David Bergstein said in a statement. “If Republicans continue to push forward with their expensive and unpopular agenda, there will be no rock GOP Senate candidates can hide under to escape the voters who will hold then accountable in 2018.”
Here’s an example of what the DSCC’s ad looks like in Arizona, targeting Republican Sen. Jeff Flake:
Flake told CBS “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert on Wednesday that he would vote for the Graham-Cassidy healthcare proposal, which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said would get a vote on the Senate floor next week. The proposal appears to have the support of nearly the 50 GOP senators it needs to pass, but a few remaining senators have yet to announce how they intend to vote on the proposal.
Kimmel has taken aim at the legislation on his late-night ABC program, imploring his viewers to oppose the legislation while blasting the bill’s authors – particularly Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana.
The late-night host accused Cassidy of lying when he said on his program earlier this year that any healthcare plan would have to protect those with preexisting conditions in order to earn his vote.
In May, Cassidy said he wouldn’t support any bill that would allow insurers to charge people with preexisting conditions more for coverage after the Kimmel’s emotional monologue about his newborn son’s open-heart surgeries. The Louisiana senator dubbed it the “Jimmy Kimmel test.”
But Graham-Cassidy would allow states to apply for waivers that could lead to insurers charging individuals with preexisting conditions more for coverage, as healthcare-policy experts said.
Cassidy then said on CNN that Kimmel “does not understand” after the host said the senator’s bill failed the test.
“Oh, I get it, I don’t understand because I’m a talk-show host, right?” Kimmel said Wednesday night, attacking the bill’s proposed cuts to federal healthcare funding.
“Which part of that am I not understanding?” Kimmel added. “Or could it be, Sen. Cassidy, that the problem is that I do understand and you got caught with your G-O-Penis out? Is that possible?”