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Paul Broun's Short-Term Gain Is Long-Term Risk Paul Broun's Short-Term Gain Is Long-Term Risk

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Paul Broun's Short-Term Gain Is Long-Term Risk


Rep. Paul Broun, R-Georgia, announces his plans to run for the Senate

Rep. Paul Broun is under attack, and he wants you to know about it.

The Georgia Republican, one of a host of candidates vying for the nomination to succeed retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss, is raising money off a new radio ad the Service Employees International Union is running that spotlights comments Broun made on a nationally syndicated radio program earlier this year. In the ad, the union calls Broun an "extreme" Republican on the fringes of immigration reform.

The ad isn't actually running in Georgia, though. It's part of SEIU's effort to sway potential Republican backers of comprehensive immigration reform legislation in swing districts in California, Colorado, Florida, Nevada and Texas. Still, says Broun, in an email solicitation sent out today: "I'm under attack" from the "radical, yet powerful liberal" SEIU.

In a crowded primary, he'll need all the help he can get; Broun has never been the best fundraiser, and he's got a big Republican primary electorate to which to introduce himself.

But SEIU's ad highlights one of the aspects of Broun's candidacy that scares national Republicans the most. Broun was the candidate who positioned himself farthest to the right in the 2007 special election that first sent him to Washington, and party officials worry that his history of intemperate statements could make him the 2014 version of Todd Akin or Richard Mourdock, Republicans who played themselves right out of what should have been winnable elections.

Broun's worry gets him a short-term win: He's under assault from the liberal boogieman, so give him money! But it highlights the national party's long-term concern, one some Republicans are already sharing with donors: If Broun wins the Georgia primary, he could very well put what should be a Republican seat in the tossup category.

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