Democrats plaster Arizona Republic website with ads calling Trump a threat to democracy, with other blitzes in Georgia, Pennsylvania

Donald Trump is the subject of attack ads on the website after he ducked questions about whether he will accept the outcome of the November election during the recent prime-time debate. The ads were purchased by the Democratic National Committee. (Photo by Kyle Mazza/Anadolu via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON – The Democratic National Committee took over Tuesday’s homepage of the Arizona Republic website with ads attacking Donald Trump as an existential threat to democracy.

The ads link to a 90-second video that shows Trump ducking a question about whether he will accept the outcome of the November election three times during last week’s prime-time debate.

The ads will run for a week on the Arizona Republic’s site,, according to DNC deputy communications director Abhi Rahman, starting shortly after midnight Tuesday.

The party is making similar large digital ad buys with the Philadelphia Inquirer and Atlanta Journal-Constitution to highlight Trump’s efforts to overturn his losses in Arizona, Pennsylvania and Georgia, he said.

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CNN debate moderator Dana Bash repeatedly asked Trump whether he would accept the election results this time around. He eventually said he would accept the outcome if the election was, in his view, fair.

The ad goes on to show pundits asserting that to Trump, elections are never fair unless he wins.

With dramatic music stirring in the background, the ad slams Trump over his criminal convictions and sexual misconduct lawsuits. It uses footage of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by a mob intent on blocking certification of President Joe Biden’s victory, and of Trump shaking hands with Russian strongman Vladimir Putin.

The DNC hopes to garner around one million impressions through the ad campaign. Rahman declined to say how much the party is spending.

The ads come as Democrats try to change the national conversation away from Biden’s debate performance, widely regarded as disastrous and which sparked calls within the party for the 81-year-old incumbent to step aside as nominee.

Even Democrats who stood by him publicly acknowledged that he had fueled concerns about his capacity to serve another four years.

Democratic National Committee digital ad appearing on the homepage of the Arizona Republic on July 2, 2024. (Graphic courtesy of DNC)

Democratic National Committee digital ad appearing on the homepage of the Arizona Republic on July 2, 2024. (Graphic courtesy of DNC)

The ad blitz began the day after the Supreme Court ruled that Trump and other presidents are almost entirely immune from prosecution for actions taken while in office. The ruling could affect two cases related to Trump’s efforts to subvert the election, a state case in Georgia and a federal case brought by the special counsel.

The ruling made it all but certain he won’t stand trial before Election Day in either case.

“Trump has shown over and over again that he has no remorse for his role in the insurrection on our nation’s capital,” Rahman said, “and now that the Supreme Court has emboldened his dangerous pursuit of power, there’s no doubt that his number one priority in a second term would be dismantling democracy as we know it.”

In Arizona, 18 people face criminal charges in the so-called fake electors scheme, in which Trump’s slate signed a document asserting that the ex-president had won Arizona’s electoral votes. In fact, Biden carried the state by more than 10,000 votes.

Three of the defendants will serve as Arizona delegates to the GOP nomination convention later in July, including two state senators.

Among those indicted are Trump’s former lawyers Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman.

Recounts demanded by Trump allies uncovered only sporadic irregularities that would have affected no more than a few hundred votes in Arizona.

Trump’s allegations of irregularities in Pennsylvania gained no traction in court.

News Digital Reporter, Washington, D.C.

Alex Cunningham is an international intern studying journalism at Dublin City University, where he expects to graduate in October 2024.