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Shutdown Could Harm Red-State Dems

The NRSC and American Bridge launched shutdown-related ads.

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Kimberly Railey
Jan. 22, 2018, 10:06 a.m.

“As the blame game launched following the shutdown of the U.S. government at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, it quickly and ferociously began playing out on perhaps the most contentious battlefield of the 2018 midterms: the Senate races where Democrats are seeking reelection in states that Trump won.”

Some Democrats “quietly conceded that the impasse—if it is seen as a fight over immigration—holds risks for vulnerable senators, even if they voted to keep the government open.”

“One worrisome data point: A super PAC allied with Senate Democrats commissioned a poll in 12 battleground states in early December 2017, and it found that in more conservative states, blame for a shutdown would be split between Trump and Republicans and Democrats in Congress. But when interviewers asked respondents about a shutdown that might be tied to the legal status of dreamers, Democrats absorbed more blame. The poll was conducted by Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group on behalf of Senate Majority PAC.”

“Less clear was how powerful the backlash might be within the Democratic base. At a closed-door meeting of Democratic senators Friday night before votes, nobody rose to say that the party’s strategy put his or her seat at risk, said two people in attendance.” (Washington Post)

Five Democrats voted to keep the government open: Sens. Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), and Doug Jones (D-AL). (Hotline reporting)

RIVAL ADS. The NRSC released Facebook auto-play ads that target the 10 Trump-state Democrats and call on them to end the “Schumer shutdown.” The spot opens by saying that funding for children’s health insurance is now canceled. (release)

Meanwhile, American Bridge launched digital ads hitting Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) and Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ 02) for the effects of the shutdown on veterans. The spots “will target swing voters in each state on multiple social media platforms.” (release)

SHUTDOWN PAY. Hours before the government shutdown, Heitkamp, McCaskill, and Manchin, along with Sens. Jon Tester (D-MT) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), introduced a bill Friday to withhold lawmakers’ pay if the shutdown happened. All represent states won by President Trump. (The Hill)

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