Republicans are firing all their missiles against a surging Democratic candidate in the biggest election of the year

Republicans are firing all their missiles against a surging Democratic candidate in the biggest election of the year

Screen Shot 2018 03 08 at 11.35.02 AM


Nancy Pelosi and Conor Lamb.

  • Republicans are blasting Democratic candidate Conor Lamb over the air in Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District's special election.
  • People in Pittsburgh are overwhelmed by the onslaught of political advertising.
  • More than $12 million has been spent on the race by Republicans and Democrats.

PITTSBURGH - Ask anyone in Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District what they think of the huge special election taking place next week, and they'll all mention the same thing - the onslaught of political ads.

You can't watch more than 10 minutes of local TV within the district without seeing the latest spot blasting Democratic candidate and former assistant US Attorney Conor Lamb, an ad defending the congressional hopeful, or a commercial taking aim at his Republican opponent, Pennsylvania state Rep. Rick Saccone.

"Both campaigns have ran too many TV ads, mostly negative and lacking substantive information," Justin DePlato, a political science professor at Robert Morris University and a delegate to the 2016 Republican National Convention representing the 18th district, told Business Insider, adding that "less attentive voters are irritated with the bombardment of TV" ads.

The seemingly non-stop stream of ads is a result of Republicans - and a well-funded Lamb campaign to some extent - pouring money into the district, which went for President Donald Trump by 20 points in 2016 but is now home to a neck-and-neck race.

Politico reported Wednesday that Republicans have spent more than $9 million on the race, which is taking place in a district that, as a result of redistricting in the state, will no longer exist in the fall. The National Republican Congressional Committee has spent more than $3.5 million, while the Congressional Leadership Fund has spent more than $3.1 million. The Lamb campaign has spent more than $3 million.

Republicans have sought to tie Lamb to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, criticized his record as assistant US attorney, and claimed that his election will be great for immigrants who are in the country illegally.

Here's a sampling of the negative ads run against Lamb:

Lamb has tried to counter those ads, which he labeled as misleading or outright false. He's also run a series of positive spots on himself:

There have also been multiple ads running in the district attacking Saccone, particularly his record as a state representative:

Saccone and his backers, meanwhile, have run a handful of positive ads:

Pittsburghers have taken to social media to bemoan the constant presence of the election ads. And some have been particularly critical of the negative ads against Lamb: