A major Democratic outside group is going up with a series of ads thanking Democratic lawmakers for opposing the Tea Party.
The ads, from Patriot Majority USA, are technically issue-based and not electoral, and thank Reps. Ann KirkpatrickAnn KirkpatrickWomen make little gains in new Congress McCain wins sixth Senate term In Arizona, history and voter registration data gives GOP edge MORE (Ariz.), Patrick Murphy (Fla.), Joe GarciaJoe GarciaFreshman Curbelo wins reelection in Fla. LGBT Republican groups campaigning for Curbelo in Fla. House Democrats amplify anti-Trump strategy MORE (Fla.), Adam SmithAdam SmithSenior Dems want nuclear warhead audit Dems warns Trump nuclear push would suck money from budget Treasury chief's global debut will reveal much about his trade stance MORE (Wash.) and Ron KindRon KindNew bill does hard job of injecting capital into needy communities House GOP campaign arm targets Democrats over ObamaCare anniversary Here's how Congress can get people to live healthy lifestyles MORE (Wis.).
Kirkpatrick, Murphy and Garcia are all top GOP targets, though Murphy appears to be the safest of the three.
Neither Smith nor Kind are considered particularly vulnerable. But all five ads hit the same notes, praising the Democrats for “opposing a radical Tea Party plan that would end Medicare’s guarantee,” as the ad running in Kind’s district says. They also praise the Dems for working to reduce the cost of student loans and for keeping prescription drugs affordable for seniors.
All of the ads urge viewers to call the lawmakers and thank them “for putting the middle class first,” echoing a campaign narrative this cycle that declares Democrats are on the side of the middle class while Republicans are on the side of the wealthy.
Patriot Majority is putting most of the money on the most vulnerable Democrats. It said it would spend $235,000 on Kirkpatrick’s ad, $141,000 on the Garcia ad, $122,000 on Murphy’s ad, $153,000 on Smith’s ad and just $83,000 on the ad boosting Kind.
Candace Bryan Abbey, spokeswoman for the group, said the ads are intended to continue the task of “discrediting” the Tea Party, as polls show support for the movement waning nationwide.
“We are pleased by recent polls showing that Americans are rejecting the Tea Party and its radical agenda, but the job of discrediting its radical policies is far from over, which is why we are running these issue ads in Arizona, Florida, Washington and Wisconsin, and it’s why we are proud to stand up for policy makers who fight for working families in the face of overwhelming opposition from the Koch brothers and special interests,” she said.