Crossroads's first 2014 ad hits Walsh in Montana

The GOP outside group American Crossroads will launch its first ad of the 2014 election cycle this week, targeting newly appointed Sen. John Walsh (D-Mont.).

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The group has purchased roughly $150,000 of airtime in the state, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

Crossroads spokesman Jonathan Collegio says the attack ad will go up later this week against Walsh, who on Friday was appointed to replace former Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), after the senator resigned to become ambassador to China.

Walsh, who will be sworn in on Tuesday, is the underdog against Rep. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) in the race: Polling has found Daines up by a wide margin in the Republican-leaning state.

Democrats are hopeful that his appointment could help boost Walsh's chances, however, and Crossroads's ad buy indicates they want to make sure he doesn't gain any traction in the race from his new status. 

American Crossroads and its sister group Crossroads GPS were some of the biggest-spending GOP groups during the 2012 election, combining to spend more than $230 million during the cycle.

The groups' fundraising has trailed off since, and they raised just $6 million combined in 2013, though. The group is also spending right now in a Florida House special election to replace Rep. Bill Young (R-Fla.), who died late last year.