Health care continues to be a key issue in federal midterm races across the country, according to a new analysis by the Wesleyan Media Project.
Between September 18th and October 15th, 45.9 percent of broadcast television ads for federal races mentioned health care. For pro-Democrat ads, health care was mentioned in 54.5 percent of ads, and in pro-Republican airings the topic was mentioned in 31.5 percent of ads.
The inclusion of health care in 54.5 percent of political ads in 2018 represents a sharp uptick for Democrats. In 2010, following passage of the Affordable Care Act, health care appeared in 8.7 percent of pro-Democrat ads. In 2016, that percentage was still at just 10 percent.
For Republicans, health care in political ads peaked in 2010 (33.9 percent), but then declined in prominence in the next election years.
Data collected by the Wesleyan Media Project also shows Democrats with an ad advantage in both House and Senate races. Between September 18th and October 15th, Democrats sponsored 208,000 ads for House races compared to 128,000 for Republicans. In Senate races, Democrats ran 171,000 ads compared to 118,000 for Republicans.