Getting an ad on the air in a competitive Senate race next year may not break the bank, but that won’t change the unruly amount of money that will be spent.
A Senate playing field (view ratings map) constructed almost entirely of small media markets has several implications for the candidates, campaign committees and outside groups in the most targeted states next year. Above all, it likely guarantees an extended campaign season.
“It means the poor, unfortunate people who live in those states will be subjected to much more ugliness,” as Curt Anderson, a Republican media consultant, put it. Full story
Updated 11:55 a.m. |The Club for Growth’s political action committee formally endorsed Republican Rep. Tom Cotton on Wednesday, a day after the freshman announced a challenge to Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor in Arkansas.
The group is set to launch a six-figure TV ad buy against Pryor on Thursday, tying the incumbent to President Barack Obama. The ads will run on broadcast and cable stations, and it’s just the latest media campaign targeting one of the most vulnerable incumbents of the cycle.
“Tom Cotton is a taxpayer hero and a fighter against the Obama agenda,” Club for Growth President Chris Chocola said in a statement.
Senate Democrats’ inability so far to lure top-tier talent to run for their three most vulnerable open seats shifts the spotlight to recruits in its two most promising pickup opportunities — a relative term in this lopsided landscape.
Former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer’s decision this weekend to eschew a Senate race came as an unexpected boon for the GOP’s hopes of netting the six seats necessary to win the Senate majority next year. Pulling off that feat would be an accomplishment for Republicans, even if they are waging war in friendly GOP territory.
But there is a realistic scenario that could force Democrats to rely on two first-time federal candidates in states where the party has enjoyed little success in recent years. If Montana moves off the competitive playing field and Republicans are also favored to pick up the open seats in West Virginia and South Dakota, the GOP would need to pick up just three more seats from their most promising targets in Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana and North Carolina. Full story
A Democratic outside group launched a TV ad in Arkansas on Thursday targeting GOP Rep. Tom Cotton, a potential Senate candidate.
The ad, which will air statewide for the next two weeks, portrays the freshman Republican as someone “out for himself, not us.” A source said the total ad buy from the affiliated groups Senate Majority PAC and Patriot Majority USA is for about $270,000.
Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., doesn’t have an opponent yet, but he’s being forced to play defense anyway.
Hit from both sides on the air this week, Pryor launched the first television ad of his re-election campaign on Friday. The ad, coming about 17 months before the general election, is backed by a “significant statewide buy,” according to a Democratic spokesman.
Pryor is running advertisements for his re-election bid. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., will launch a television ad campaign on Friday — 17 months before this cycle’s most vulnerable incumbent faces voters in the general election.
“It’s an ad in response to the attacks we’re getting on both sides,” Pryor campaign manager Jeff Weaver said. “These outside groups are trying to affect the election. So we’ve produced an ad.”
Pryor has been hit on the air by the conservative groups Club for Growth and Senate Conservatives Fund for his ties to President Barack Obama. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s super PAC, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, just launched a $350,000 ad buy hitting Pryor for his vote against expanded background checks.
If you got it, flaunt it. And in campaign fundraising, the best flaunt their numbers early.
There are several days yet until campaigns are required to file their first quarter fundraising reports with the Federal Election Commission. Typically, only campaigns with hauls worth bragging about release their figures early.
Here’s are the congressional campaign fundraising figures that caught our eye on Thursday:
One of 2014′s most vulnerable Democratic incumbents, Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas, is using the media blitz to demonstrate political space between him and Bloomberg.
“I’ve gotten a lot of questions about NYC Mayor gun ad. My response? I don’t take gun advice from the Mayor of NYC. I listen to Arkansans,” Pryor tweeted Monday afternoon.
Bloomberg announced over the weekend that he plans to fund advertisements in 13 states during the Easter recess targeting vulnerable Democratic senators, including Pryor, and Republicans representing competitive states. The goal, according to The New York Times, is to pressure senators he believes could be persuaded to support universal background checks for firearm sales.
Republicans plan to target Pryor's seat. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Two conservative groups, Club for Growth Action and the Senate Conservatives Fund, released a new poll on Tuesday that shows Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., a top target in 2014.
In late January, 53 percent of those surveyed had a favorable opinion of Pryor, while 25 percent had an unfavorable opinion of him in the Basswood Research poll of likely voters. By mid-March poll, 36 had a favorable opinion of Pryor, while 36 percent had an unfavorable opinion of him.
Both organizations have recently aired paid advertisements against Pryor — this one from the club, and this one from SCF. The distilled message of the ads from both groups was that Pryor was not independent and votes a great deal of the time with Barack Obama.
Both ads were backed by moderate buy sizes, which Democrats argued casts doubt on the big shift in Pryor’s favorability.
Senate Conservatives Action launched a 60-second radio spot Thursday linking Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., to President Barack Obama, who remains deeply popular in the Razorback State.
The conservative, GOP-aligned group’s spot, backed by $35,000 in the Little Rock and Fort Smith markets, will air through March 26. The ad opens with a man and woman watching TV together and disagreeing about what show to watch.
“You think it’s possible for a couple to agree 95 percent of the time?” the woman asks.
“Ninety-five percent of the time?” the man says, chuckling. “No way!”
“Well, Mark Pryor voted with Barack Obama 95 percent of the time,” the woman replies.
Brown voted against the Senate-passed VAWA reauthorization (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Several congressmen running for Senate in 2014 or considering a bid voted against final passage of the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization on Thursday.
A majority of House Republicans voted against the Senate-backed version of the bill, S 47, which passed with Democratic support. But those “no” votes, easily packaged into a 30-second TV spot, could pose a political problem for potential GOP Senate candidates down the road in competitive races.
Republican Rep. Paul Broun of Georgia, who is running for the state’s open Senate seat, voted “no.” So did his fellow Peach State Republican Reps. Phil Gingrey, Jack Kingston, Tom Price and Tom Graves — all potential Senate contenders.
The Club for Growth will launch a television advertisement in Arkansas on Friday targeting Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor, who is up for re-election in 2014.
It’s the first cannon shot in what is expected to be a hard-fought and extended war for Pryor’s seat — and control of the Senate
Club for Growth Action, an affiliate of the well-funded anti-tax group, will tie Pryor to an unpopular President Barack Obama in the Razorback State with the six-figure buy.
“He’s the only Arkansan in Congress today who voted for Obamacare,” an elderly-sounding male narrator says over a graphic of darkened figure that eventually morphs into a picture of Pryor. “The only one who voted for the Obama stimulus. He joined Obama to bail out the Wall Street banks.”
“When you vote for Pryor, you vote for Obama,” the narrator says. “It’s that simple.”
Pryor, considered one of the more vulnerable senators facing re-election this cycle, does not currently have a Republican challenger. Washington, D.C., Republicans are recruiting freshman Rep. Tom Cotton to run, but he hasn’t yet said what he is doing.
The Club for Growth backed Cotton in his 2012 House run.