Republican ad campaign targets moms


Banner ads like these will run on a number of Web sites targeted to women as part of a House Republican campaign. (NRCC)

House Republicans launched a digital ad campaign yesterday meant to target one of the party’s much-needed demographics: Moms.

The National Republican Congressional Committee bought $20,000 worth of ads on sites popular with women, like MarthaStewart.com and RachelRay.com, USA Today reports. The ads, which support the Working Families Flexibility Act, are meant to pressure vulnerable Democrats like Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09) and Rep. Bill Enyart (IL-12).

Contrary to some reports, however, the ads won’t run on “mommy blogs” -- those upbeat, often pastel corners of the Internet where women, including Mitt Romney’s daughter-in-law Mary, chronicle the bliss of domestic life.

That has been a successful space for Republicans in the past. In February 2012, Buzzfeed reported that the Romney campaign approached a number of Mormon mommy bloggers about editorial partnerships. At least one of them -- Stephanie Aurora Clark Nielson, of “NieNie Dialogues” fame -- did end up working with the campaign, peppering her usual meditations on her husband and five kids with endorsements like this one: “I am in Las Vegas at the National Call Day for Mitt Romney. I am asking you to donate to Mitt's campaign to help him win and bring America's dignity back.”

But Romney won only 45 percent of the national female vote in 2012, to Obama’s 54 percent. That has led many inside the party to call for targeted campaigns like this one, which will run through Friday on a number of cooking, craft and parenting Web sites.

“These conservative women exist online and their numbers are growing,” argues conservative commentator Dana Loesch. “This is a good start, but the GOP shouldn’t stop here.”

Caitlin Dewey runs The Intersect blog, writing about digital and Internet culture. Before joining the Post, she was an associate online editor at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.
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