Handel Radio Ad Beats Ga. Opponents to the Airwaves

Karen Handel, U.S. Senate candidate and former Georgia Secretary of State, addresses activists during a political rally at the Georgia State Capitol, Tuesday, May 21, 2013, in Atlanta.
National Journal
Sarah Mimms
Sept. 5, 2013, 4:58 p.m.

With Geor­gia’s con­ten­tious Re­pub­lic­an primary just eight months away, former Sec­ret­ary of State Kar­en Han­del beat her fel­low Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ates to the air­waves on Thursday, launch­ing the first ad of the 2014 cam­paign.

Han­del’s early ad, a ra­dio spot de­signed to sep­ar­ate her from the crowd, builds on her at­tempts to por­tray her­self as the out­sider in a race dom­in­ated by cur­rent mem­bers of Con­gress. It hits Reps. Phil Gin­grey, Jack King­ston and Paul Broun, though not by name, for cam­paign­ing against the 2010 health care law, even as they re­ceive in­sur­ance sub­sidies un­der it. Im­pli­cit in the spot’s fo­cus on Pres­id­ent Obama’s sig­na­ture le­gis­lat­ive achieve­ment is that Han­del, who hasn’t be­nefited from the law, will be bet­ter po­si­tioned than her Re­pub­lic­an op­pon­ents to make the case against “Obama­care” in a gen­er­al elec­tion cam­paign against likely Demo­crat­ic nom­in­ee Michelle Nunn.

The ad is run­ning primar­ily on Re­pub­lic­an-friendly talk ra­dio and coun­try mu­sic sta­tions in the Sa­van­nah, At­lanta and Athens mar­kets, three of the four largest in the state — which also just hap­pen to be King­ston’s, Gin­grey’s and Broun’s home mar­kets, re­spect­ively.

Left un­men­tioned in the ad is busi­ness­man Dav­id Per­due, an­oth­er po­ten­tially vi­able Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ate. Per­due, who has nev­er held elect­ive of­fice, could be a strong com­pet­it­or for the “out­sider” la­bel. Per­due has prom­ised to draw heav­ily from his per­son­al wealth to fund his cam­paign, but Han­del’s team and the oth­er Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ates have largely ig­nored him. Said Han­del spokes­man Dan McLagan: “I’ll take him ser­i­ously when he puts $5 mil­lion of his own money in.”

The early start to Han­del’s ad cam­paign is in part a re­sponse to a fed­er­al judge’s re­cent or­der mov­ing Geor­gia’s primar­ies from its typ­ic­al mid-Ju­ly date up to May 20, giv­ing the Sen­ate can­did­ates even less time to in­tro­duce them­selves to voters. Han­del’s ad will help her build on her already su­per­i­or name re­cog­ni­tion, hav­ing run for gov­ernor in 2010 and served as Sec­ret­ary of State be­fore that. None of her op­pon­ents have run for statewide of­fice be­fore, and while Broun, King­ston and Gin­grey are well known in their dis­tricts, they have a lot of ground to make up with voters in oth­er parts of the state.

The spot is also a sign that Han­del, who entered the race just six weeks be­fore the end of the last fin­an­cial dis­clos­ure peri­od, has money com­ing in the door. McLagan said that Han­del is hav­ing a “really good” third quarter and that he ex­pects her to post strong num­bers at the end of the quarter, which con­cludes this month. But, he cau­tioned, Han­del will be out­spent by her op­pon­ents. Gin­grey has $2.6 mil­lion on hand and King­ston has $2.3 mil­lion in the bank.

Han­del has been in that po­s­i­tion be­fore, McLagan ar­gued, not­ing that Han­del was out­spent by all four of her op­pon­ents in the 2010 gubernat­ori­al primary, which she won, be­fore los­ing a close run­off to now-Gov. Nath­an Deal.

With open races for the con­gress­men’s three seats, an­oth­er likely barn burn­er in Demo­crat­ic Rep. John Bar­row’s 12th Dis­trict and a still sleepy — but po­ten­tially com­pet­it­ive — gubernat­ori­al primary, Geor­gia’s air­waves will be crowded next year, and ad buys could be pricey. Han­del’s team is clearly bet­ting that get­ting on air early, and cheaply, will pay off in May.

What We're Following See More »
BAD NEWS FOR CLINTON
Trump and Clinton Equally Disliked
3 hours ago
THE DETAILS

According to the most recent Gallup poll, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are equally disliked. The poll, conducted between July 18 and July 25, shows both major party candidates for president are viewed favorably by 37 percent of respondents and unfavorably by 58 percent of respondents. This poll is bad news for Clinton, who has received better favorable and unfavorable ratings in nearly every poll over the last year.

Source:
VP PICK TAKES DIFFERENT TONE THAN TRUMP
Pence: “Serious Consequences” if Russia Hacked DNC
4 hours ago
THE DETAILS

The same day that Donald Trump encouraged Russia to hack the State Department and "find the 30,000 emails that are missing," the GOP nominee for vice president took a more serious approach. "If it is Russia and they are interfering in our elections, I can assure you both parties and the United States government will ensure there are serious consequences," Pence said in a statement. Trump's comments at a press conference this morning were rebuked by individuals across the political spectrum, while some on Trump's team, including prominent surrogate Newt Gingrich, have called his comments a "joke."

Source:
ECONOMY STABILIZING
Fed Leaves Rates Alone, but Signals Hikes to Come
6 hours ago
THE DETAILS

The Federal Open Market Committee today voted to leave interest rates alone, but "upgraded its assessment of the economy’s recent performance and said near-term risks to the outlook have diminished, effectively leaving the door open to raise rates later this year, possibly as early as September."

Source:
CHARM OFFENSIVE
Pence Is Trump’s Man on Capitol Hill
8 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Spurred by VP pick Mike Pence, a former congressman with close ties to many lawmakers, the Trump campaign in recent weeks has stepped up its courtship of wary Capitol Hill Republicans. And the efforts appear to be bearing fruit." Central to the charm offensive: invitations to more than a dozen "Senate and House members into his family’s private box for some power-schmoozing with him and his kids" during the Republican National Convention.

Source:
PAUL RYAN: STOP IT
Trump Encourages More Spying by Russia
8 hours ago
THE LATEST

Donald Trump essentially encouraged more Russian espionage against Democrats in a press conference this morning. "Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” he said. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.” That prompted Brendan Buck, spokesman for House Speaker Paul Ryan to say: “Russia is a global menace led by a devious thug. Putin should stay out of this election.”

Source:
×