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Democrats Already Riding to Landrieu's Aid

Super PAC airs ad hitting Louisiana senator's opponent as her own approvals tumble.

Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., has begun airing her own TV ads.(Kris Connor/Getty Images)

photo of Alex  Roarty
December 13, 2013

Democrats are bringing out the heavy artillery in Louisiana.

Two days after Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu's campaign released its first TV ad, the Senate Majority PAC announced Friday it would hit the airwaves with its own spot. But while Landrieu's ad focused entirely on her support for Obamacare—and her efforts to fix some aspects of the law—the outside group's ad takes direct aim at one of her opponents, Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy. The third-party organization said it would run the ad statewide.

 

The sudden media saturation, 11 months before Election Day, underscores the three-term senator's precarious standing in her reelection race, which has been made considerably worse by the troubled rollout of Obamacare. Just as President Obama's approval ratings have sunk, so too have Landrieu's.

The ad surge is an attempt to repair her image with Louisiana voters while defining her chief opponent, Cassidy, early. The Majority PAC ad didn't step gingerly into the fray either, criticizing him for wanting to limit access to Social Security and cut Medicare.

The theme of the 30-second spot, which mentions Cassidy's support for the government shutdown, is to portray the House member as part of the problem in Washington. Democratic strategists have said they think the Senate GOP's reliance on House candidates this cycle offers an opening to paint them, not the Democratic incumbents, as the main problem with a dysfunctional Congress. "He'd hurt us even more in the Senate," the ad says.

Landrieu has also been the target of an ad blitz over the past two months. The well-funded conservative group Americans for Prosperity has run $1.6 million worth of ads in the Pelican State in the past 60 days, according to a spokesman. Democrats are adamant that such ads won't go unanswered, even if their own buys are far smaller. Senate Majority PAC last week announced it was going on air in North Carolina, where AFP has spent $3.5 million.

"For our organization specifically, we have long stated that we are going to fight back against outside conservative groups like AFP or Crossroads, who are trying to buy Senate seats," said Ty Mastdorf, an adviser to the Democratic-aligned group. "So when AFP is spending millions in places like Louisiana or North Carolina, of course we are going to respond and fight back."

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