November 5, 2014  |  

Tax Fairness Campaign Releases Guide To 2014 Federal Election TV Ads On Tax Issues

Democrats attack Republicans on tax fairness issues TV ads draw vivid contrasts on taxes and budget tradeoffs

WASHINGTON – Americans for Tax Fairness Action Fund (ATFAF) today released new information showing that congressional Democrats and their allies are aggressively using TV ads on tax fairness issues to attack Republican candidates this election cycle. Recent data shows that Democratic ads on tax issues outnumber Republicans ads by large margins, defying the conventional wisdom that has assumed Republicans have a strategic advantage on taxes.

ATFAF has compiled a list of over 100 television ads aired by Democrats or liberal PACs in key races for the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate. The ads can be viewed via a YouTube playlist that presents the spots in reverse chronological order. They also are listed by state and race in this PDF document and in the ATFAF Guide to 2014 Federal Election TV Ads on Tax Fairness Issues.

Democrats attraction to the tax fairness message is borne out by aggregate ad data gathered by Kantar Media, a marketing research firm that published on Sept. 29 the number of TV ads on a range of top issues across all House and Senate campaigns. ATFAF totalled the House and Senate ads for each issue found that taxes ranked fourth of all issues surveyed, behind budget/government spending, jobs and energy/environment.

The Kantar ad data reveals that Democratic candidates for the U.S. Senate and independent groups supporting them ran nearly three times as many television ads on taxes than their Republican counterparts, 73% vs. 27%. Democratic House candidates and independent groups supporting them ran 63% of all tax ads while their Republican opponents aired 37% of the television spots.

The Democratic offensive goes against the common assumption that they are at a disadvantage on tax issues.

“The proliferation of Democratic ads on tax issues, compared with Republican ads, indicates that tax fairness is a winning message, not Grover Norquist’s pledge to never raise your taxes,” said Frank Clemente, executive director of Americans for Tax Fairness. “Voters understand that the deck is stacked against them when it comes to the economy, and a strong way to connect with voters is to demand that corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes.”

The information provided today by ATFAF provides a more vivid picture of the Democratic offensive on tax issues. Many of the television ads focus on the refusal by Republicans to close corporate tax loopholes, even those that encourage U.S. companies to move jobs overseas.

ATFAF’s compilation of television ads on taxes is a partial one based on tracking of key Senate and House races. Ads in Senate races are from Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oregon, South Dakota, and Virginia. Ads are included from these top House races: AZ-02, CA-52, FL-02, FL-18, IL-12, IL-17, IA-02, IA-03, KS-03, MI-01, MN-07, MN-08, NH-01, NY-18, NY-23, TX-23, and WV-03. The compilation also includes spots by major political action committees and other organizations, including House Majority PAC, Senate Majority PAC, the May Day PAC, NextGen Climate and others.


Guide to 2014 Federal Election TV Ads on Tax Fairness Issues

YouTube playlist of 100+ campaign spots

PDF version of press release

Americans for Tax Fairness Action Fund is a project of the Sixteen Thirty Fund, which is organized under 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. It should not be confused with Americans for Tax Fairness, a project of the New Venture Fund, organized under 501(c)(3) of the IRC. The 425 organizations that comprise Americans for Tax Fairness operate separately from the activities of Americans for Tax Fairness Action Fund.


Contact: TJ Helmstetter,