Climate Group Is Running Ads on Biden Policies in Wisconsin and Michigan


A climate group with ties to Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington State is running $1 million of television advertising in Michigan and Wisconsin that aims to highlight President Biden’s record on renewable energy.

The ads, which feature two Democratic governors, Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan and Tony Evers of Wisconsin, are among the most significant third-party ads to be broadcast in presidential battleground states so far this cycle.

The group funding them, Evergreen Collaborative, was founded by staff members of Mr. Inslee’s 2020 presidential campaign. Over the past three years, the group spent about $2.5 million on issue advocacy ads in Michigan, Nevada and Wisconsin to promote the Inflation Reduction Act, a Michigan clean energy bill and federal pollution standards.

The new ads are set to begin broadcasting on Tuesday and will run for three weeks in Milwaukee and in the Flint and Grand Rapids television markets in Michigan.

Evergreen’s Michigan ad features Ms. Whitmer playing up Mr. Biden’s record — as well as her own — on investing in renewable energy in the state.

“Make it in Michigan,” Ms. Whitmer says while standing in what she says is a job-training center. “It’s what we’re doing every single day.”

As footage of Mr. Biden at the Detroit Auto Show rolls, Ms. Whitmer says that “batteries that used to be made in China are being made all across our state,” an appeal to voters who have been attracted by the anti-China policies of Mr. Biden’s Republican rival in the presidential race, former President Donald J. Trump.

The Wisconsin ad doesn’t show Mr. Evers until the end. It focuses on solar projects, which the ad says will power 750,000 homes in the state.

“Governor Evers is working with the Biden administration to do even more,” the ad’s narrator says as photos are shown of Mr. Evers and Mr. Biden touring a Milwaukee factory last summer. “Your home value goes up and your energy bill goes down.”

The ad concludes with footage of Mr. Evers’s annual State of the State address. “Wisconsinites, this is the future we spent years working hard to build together,” he says.

These ads are an attempt to capitalize on the popularity of Ms. Whitmer and Mr. Evers, who polls show are far more popular than Mr. Biden in their states.

Because Evergreen is technically an issue-advocacy organization, it is prohibited from making an explicit push to vote for Mr. Biden, but the message here is not subtle. The Michigan ad, with Ms. Whitmer wearing a leather jacket and speaking from a factory floor, could be a Biden campaign ad on its own. The argument boils down to: You like what I’ve done, so support President Biden.

Neither ad mentions the Inflation Reduction Act, the $891 billion law Mr. Biden signed in 2022. Relatively few Americans have heard of the law, and the Democratic Party’s top strategists have discouraged campaigns from referring to it by name.

Instead, with these ads, Evergreen is seeking to remind voters that something they like — building car batteries in Michigan and using solar power in Wisconsin — is brought to them by the Biden administration. Less than six months out from the presidential election, Mr. Biden has failed to convey that message to voters, leaving supportive outside groups and Democratic governors to do it for him.

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