Dems can't win Trump's base in 2018, but they'll try to demoralize it

Trump shifts: Flexibility, evolution or flip-flop?
Trump shifts: Flexibility, evolution or flip-flop?

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Trump shifts: Flexibility, evolution or flip-flop? 08:01

Story highlights

  • American Bridge is a Democratic super PAC
  • "Circumstances change," White House press secretary Sean Spicer told CNN

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump's recent reversal on some of the populist issues that animated his 2016 campaign have Democrats hoping to stir up anger in his most devout supporters.

American Bridge, a Democratic super PAC, will launch a series of web ads aimed at Trump supporters who are likely to be angered by his recent flip-flops, a spokesman for the groups told CNN.
The most recent ad, titled "Selling Out," will cast Trump as someone who said one thing to working-class voters on the campaign trail, but did something different once those voters catapulted him into the White House.
    Trump, in just the last week, walked back several anti-establishment campaign promises, including labeling China a currency manipulator, questioning the efficacy of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, his support of Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and his plan to get rid of the Export-Import bank.
    "Circumstances change," White House press secretary Sean Spicer told CNN.
    Though circumstances may have changed for now-President Trump, they haven't for the millions of voters -- fueled by populist rhetoric and anti-establishment fervor -- who backed candidate Trump.
    Kraig Moss, a man who followed Trump's campaign around the country, is now standing against the President, angered by what he calls a flip-flop on his promise to combat the opioid epidemic.
    Others, like Tania Vojvodic, a vocal Trump supporter, have started Facebook groups for once-Trump backers concerned with the recent broken Trump promises. And more high-profile backers, like Lee Stranahan, once a Brietbart writer, have taken to Twitter and other social media platforms to vent their frustration with the recent Trump tilt.
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    Grieving father no longer supports Trump

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    Using demographic targeting technology -- including social media activity, age, location and political affiliation -- the group will target Trump voters animated by the former reality TV star's populist rhetoric, especially those who voted for former President Barack Obama in 2012 but backed Trump over Hillary Clinton in 2016.
    "Donald Trump's promises to working families throughout the campaign were lies," said Andrew Bates, spokesman for American Bridge and a former Clinton campaign staffer. "In reality, his administration has abandoned them to finance policies that help no one but the wealthiest Americans."
    Bates called the ads "part of a larger, ongoing effort to hold him accountable and expose all he's done to sell out working-class Americans."
    Spicer dismissed the idea that Trump was wildly shifting on policy on Thursday.
    "I think you can look at what you're referring to as a shift in a lot of ways," Spicer said, arguing that many instances of Trump's policy shifts, the issues have been "evolving toward the President's position."
    The goal is not necessarily to turn Trump voters into Democrats, since that isn't likely to happen. But by demoralizing Trump's base of supporters, Democrats are hopeful they can capitalize on excitement in their base to sweep many Republicans out of power in the House and Senate.
    With that in mind, the ad will aim to tie Trump's comments to vulnerable 2018 Republicans, including Sens. Dean Heller of Nevada and Jeff Flake of Arizona, two Republicans up for reelection in 2018 in states that are turning progressively bluer.
    "His tax plan, just like Trumpcare, is a giveaway to the rich at the expense of working families and would have serious consequences for the middle-class that our country cannot afford," American Bridge president Jessica Mackler told CNN about the ad.
    Shortly after Clinton lost the 2016 campaign, American Bridge began testing messages on voters who lean Democratic -- namely those who backed Obama in the past -- but who choose to back Trump instead. Their polls found that those voters are more swayed by Trump's plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act, taxes and economics issues than they are by other issues.
    The ad -- which is timed to release around Tax Day on April 15 -- knocks Trump's campaign tax plan for cutting taxes for the wealthy.
    Trump and his top aides have repeatedly stressed the seriousness of tax reform to urge health care reform get done first.
    "We have to do health care first to pick up additional money so that we get great tax reform," Trump said Tuesday in an interview with Fox Business.