In a piece of cheeky psychological warfare leading up to Monday night’s first presidential debate at Hofstra University in New York, Hillary Clinton has turned to what may seem like a surprising place: ESPN.com.
The Democratic nominee’s campaign pokes Republican rival Donald Trump in a new banner advertisement running Monday on the sports site that reads, “Trump: He’s like that guy in your fantasy league who talks trash all week and forgets to set his lineup,” highlighted in yellow. The background features two unflattering images of Trump, each appearing to yell at the other one.
The gambit appears to be an attempt to reach the kind of male voters with whom polls show Trump has a big advantage. The fraternity-toned ad is meant to draw media attention and tweak Trump with this important voting bloc. Trump has bragged about his sports prowess and connections, including his endorsements from the likes of former Indiana University basketball coach Bobby Knight, former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz, and boxing promoter Don King.
The new advertisement is running not only on the day of the debate, which starts at 9 p.m. EDT but also as the Atlanta Falcons are set to face off against the New Orleans Saints at 8:30 p.m. ETD on “Monday Night Football.”
Without fanfare, the Clinton campaign has actually been running ads on ESPN.com since mid-September, according to an adviser to the Democratic nominee who asked not to be named. This particular ad is planned to run for one day only, in conjunction with the football game and the debate, the adviser said.
In a Bloomberg Politics poll released on Monday, Trump led Clinton among male likely voters by 12 percentage points in a two-way contest, earning the support of 52 percent while Clinton earned 40 percent.