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Image: Inflation
A woman shops for groceries in Rosemead, Calif. on April 21, 2022.Frederic J. Brown / AFP via Getty Images

Inflation, abortion top campaign ad themes for third month in a row

Out of 476 campaign ads, 103 mentioned inflation and 67 mentioned abortion.


In July, messages about inflation and abortion once again dominated the midterm airwaves, according to an NBC News analysis of last month’s campaign ads. 


More than one-in-five of all Senate, House and gubernatorial campaign ads tracked by AdImpact in July mentioned inflation — 103 ads out of a total of 476.

It’s the second month in a row that inflation was the No. 1 topic in campaign advertising.

Many of these ads were funded by outside groups like the conservative American Action Network, an outside group that's spent over $9 million attacking House Democrats on inflation this summer. These ads blame Democrats and the Biden administration for inflation.

Other ads mentioning inflation have been run by candidates on both sides of the aisle.

In Arizona, Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly ran an ad promising to work to bring down gas prices.

"As families struggle, oil companies are earning record profits. When corporations take advantage of a crisis, that’s price gouging and it’s wrong. So, I’m leading the fight to hold companies accountable," Kelly tells voters in the ad.

On the other side of the aisle, candidates like Florida Republican Jerry Torres are blaming the Biden administration for sparking high prices.

"While the Biden administration pushes taxes and gas prices ever higher, Jerry Torres believes you should keep more of what you earn," a narrator in an ad funded by Torres said. He's running as a Republican in Florida's 14th District.


Meanwhile, abortion was the second most prevalent issue in campaign ads, with 67 ads mentioning abortion.

Abortion was also No. 2 in June and No. 1 in May.

One important note: This was the first full month of campaign ads following the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade at the end of June.

Democrats touted their plans to defend abortion access and attacked Republicans for vowing to ban abortions.

In Illinois, Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker ran an ad a registered nurse praising Pritzker's commitment to protecting abortion access.

"I’m proud we have leaders like J. B. Pritzker and Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton who did the hard work to protect women’s health care," nurse Elizandra Pierre says in the ad.

On the other side of the aisle, Republicans across the country vowed to ban abortion and proclaimed themselves to be "pro-life."

"I’m committed to defending the right to life," Republican Joe Kent told voters in an ad. Kent ran for Congress in Washington's 3rd District.

Other topics that were oft-cited in ads in July were guns and immigration, with Republicans condemning the Biden administrations immigration policy and vowing to abide by the Second Amendment. Democrats advocated for some gun restrictions, like Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen from Maryland.

In an ad, a narrator told viewers, "Van Hollen will never stop his fight for common sense gun safety, taking on the N. R. A. to end the epidemic of gun violence."