National Democrats land on a nickname for the new House speaker: “MAGA Mike.”

National Democrats land on a nickname for the new House speaker: “MAGA Mike.”

House Majority PAC, the party’s top congressional outside group, released a TV ad this week hitting Speaker Mike Johnson on three key themes: the Jan. 6 insurrection, abortion rights and entitlements.

The 30-second ad, which will run on cable in the D.C. market, is backed by only a small five-figure buy. But it confirms what top party strategists signaled last week on campaign tactics, when Johnson began his rise to speakership.

They plan to zero in on his role in the effort to stop the certification of the 2020 election and his support for a national abortion ban. The spot also accuses Johnson of backing deep cuts to Social Security and a plan to raise the retirement age.

“After all the chaos, congressional Republicans chose MAGA extremist Mike Johnson as speaker of the House,” a narrator says in the ad, warning that Johnson was called “the mastermind of the Jan. 6 plot.”

Democrats planned to weaponize the chaos that engulfed the House in October on the campaign trail no matter who emerged with the gavel. But in Johnson, strategists see someone far more socially conservative and easy to paint as an extremist.

Only a few seats separate the two parties in Congress and the battle for control of the House will be hard fought. Johnson is not a household name but Democrats plan to try to link purple-district Republicans to his policies.

Democrats did better than expected in 2022, thanks in part to what some operatives believe was Republicans’ denial of the 2020 election results and the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

Johnson championed the legal arguments that GOP lawmakers used to question the validity of the 2020 election and block the certification of the results. And he is a strong opponent of abortion rights.

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