early and often

Here Come the Obama Ads

Photo-Illustration: Intelligencer Staff/Screencaps

We’re entering the home stretch of the midterms, which means Democrats are bringing out their most popular politician to try to get vulnerable candidates over the finish line. That would be former president Obama, who has cut a raft of television ads that are soon to be appearing all over the country in service of candidates from John Fetterman in Pennsylvania to J.B. Pritzker in Illinois. (Obama did the same endorsement-ad barrage before the elections in 2018 and 2020; the current president, meanwhile, is taking a less conspicuous role this time around.)

As with many Democratic ads this cycle, Obama’s ads focus largely on abortion rights and the fate of American democracy. But while he remains well-liked among a broad swath of Americans, whether he can cut through the clutter of a billion midterm ads — or help Democrats restore the momentum they’ve lost in the last couple weeks — is another matter. Below, a few of the commercials you might see if you live in a swing state.

In Arizona, Obama endorsed Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who is running against the election-denying Kari Lake:

In Pennsylvania, he cut an ad for Fetterman with a focus on abortion rights, as the Senate race in that ultra-swing state tightens:

In Wisconsin, he’s trying to get incumbent governor Tony Evers across the finish line against Republican Tim Michels:

In Nevada, he cut a commercial for incumbent governor Steve Sisolak, who faces a close race against Republican Joe Lombardo in a tough state for Democrats this year:

And in Illinois, where Obama voted this week, he’s helping out incumbent governor J.B. Pritzker, who unlike some of the other candidates he’s supporting, is not expected to race a particularly tight race:

Here Come the Obama Ads