Democratic House challenger invokes Ginsburg in new campaign ad

Democrat Betsy Dirksen Londrigan, who is challenging Illinois Republican Rep. Rodney Davis, is launching an ad Friday that invokes the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and ties the Supreme Court fight to her party’s broader push on health care.  

“A nation mourns, and your health care is at risk,” the narrator says as the ad pans to a black-and-white photograph of Ginsburg. “A Supreme Court controlled by Donald Trump could overturn the Affordable Care Act by the end of this year. Rodney Davis won’t help us. He votes with Trump and the drug and insurance industries that gave him over $770,000.” 

Although Ginsburg’s death has already infused pivotal Senate races with new campaign cash and an urgency to mobilize voters, Dirksen Londrigan’s ad, part of a six-figure buy, is among the first for a House candidate to draw on the fight over the justice’s replacement, linking it with Democrats’ dominant message of expanding health care coverage. Senators, of course, vote on judicial nominations, while House members do not.

The race for the 13th District in Central Illinois represents a potential pickup opportunity for Democrats and is a rematch from 2018, when Davis defeated Dirksen Londrigan by 1 point. Recent polling shows a similar close race heading into Election Day, with Davis considered among the House’s most vulnerable members. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race Tilt Republican.  

The new ad says Davis voted multiple times to “gut” protections for people with preexisting medical conditions. It’s a message that Democrats have used in other competitive races, including against GOP Reps. John Katko of New York and Ann Wagner of Missouri. 

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