INDIANA | IN-sen

Messer Groups Surpass $1M In Paid Media

The RNC’s data last year described Mike Braun as a “hard Democrat.”

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Zach C. Cohen
May 7, 2018, 9:41 a.m.

Hoosiers for Conservative Values, which has ties to Rep. Luke Messer (R), “spent more than $350,000 in last minute ads attacking” former state Rep. Mike Braun (R) and Rep. Todd Rokita (R), “according to disclosure reports filed Saturday. That increases [its spending] to $780,444. … The group’s initial spending was on ads attacking Braun. … [A] group called American Economic Freedom Alliance has spent about $500,000 on ads praising Messer. … Neither group has disclosed where most of the funding has come from. Both groups have ties to Messer and to associates of Vice President Pence.”

“Six former Indiana Republican Party chairmen who have endorsed Messer released a letter Saturday criticizing Braun’s history of voting in Democratic primaries until 2012. ‘Mike Braun has spent nearly $6 million of his own money to run for U.S. Senate but he has no history of helping the Republican Party,’ the letter states.” (Indianapolis Star)

“Rokita is airing a TV ad lumping Robert Mueller with Nancy Pelosi, asking: ‘Who’s tough enough to stop the witch hunt?’” (NBC)

KEEPING SCORE. Braun “was labeled in the Republican National Committee’s voter files as a ‘hard Democrat’ as recently as December. … In the RNC’s private trove of voter data, scores from one through five are assigned to individual voters to assess how likely they are to back GOP candidate. … [A] five, Braun’s score until recently, means the party sees you as … someone it couldn’t possibly win over.” His “score changed after an Associated Press probe into his voting history,” shifting to “a two, or ‘Weak Republican.’ … [H]e is now listed as a one, or ‘Hard Republican.’”

“Braun voted in the Democratic primaries in 1992, 1996, 1998, 2004, 2006 and 2008 — which were largely solidly Democratic election years. He skipped the primary in 1994, 2000, 2002 and 2010—all strong Republican years. … He first voted in a GOP primary in 2012.” (CNN)

EARLY BIRD. “Rokita said polling by his official pollster, independent of his campaign, found early voters gave him a 10-percent edge over” Braun and Messer. (Northwest Indiana Times)

SHAKE IT OFF. “Sen. Joe Donnelly (D) said the nation’s president and vice president are ‘always welcome’ to visit Indiana—although in this case, part of their reason in next Thursday’s visit to South Bend, Donnelly’s hometown, is to get an early start campaigning against him.” (Terre Haute Tribune Star)

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