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Steve Chabot and Jen Kiggans
Rep. Steve Chabot and Republican Senate Candidate Jen Kiggans.Chabot for Congress ; Kiggans for Congress

Just like us?: Candidates pump gas, go shopping in campaign ads

With the cost of living a top concern of voters, candidates are seeking to show they are not out of touch in their TV ads.


Candidates on both sides of the aisle have been running ads addressing inflation and rising prices for months. Inflation has even been the top issue in NBC News analyses of ad themes for four months.

But, a growing trend among candidates and elected officials is to not just talk about inflation in ads, but to prove they're living it, too.

In more and more ads, politicians — like Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, Republican nominee for House Jen Kiggans, GOP Rep. Steve Chabot, Ohio Democratic nominee for governor Nan Whaley, Republican nominee for House Yesli Vega and Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak — are walking up and down the aisles of a grocery store, complaining about the high prices of food, and pumping gas, complaining about fuel costs.

This has been a particularly strong trend in the “swingiest,” or most moderate, of states and districts. Of the six candidates mentioned above, four are running in races that the non-partisan Cook Political Report rates a “Toss Up” — Kiggans in Virginia’s 2nd District, Chabot in Ohio’s First District, Barnes in Wisconsin’s Senate race, and Sisolak in Nevada’s gubernatorial race.

While other top issues — abortion, guns, prescription drug prices — are more polarizing, it seems like these politicians are hoping they can appeal to voters by showing that they relate to them.