Progressive group won't support 'worst Democrats': Landrieu, Pryor, Begich

CREDO super-PAC, a national progressive group, is wading into five competitive Senate races this cycle but has left three of the Democratic Party’s most vulnerable incumbents off its list.

According to a release announcing the group’s plan, “CREDO’s goal is to give progressives a vehicle for saving the Senate without supporting some of the worst Democrats in the tightest races such as Louisiana’s Mary Landrieu.”

The group “will skip races in states like Arkansas and Louisiana where the Democratic incumbents frequently vote against progressives,” the release says, but could add Oregon and Iowa to its list of active states if polling shows the Democrats there are vulnerable.

Republicans need to pick up only six seats to regain control of the Senate, and their path to the majority goes directly through those four states won by GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney but held by a Democrat — only one of which, North Carolina, CREDO plans to engage in.

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The super-PAC plans to go on offense in Georgia, where Sen. Saxby Chambliss’s (R) retirement has opened up a seat Democrats believe they can make competitive with their top-tier recruit, Michelle Nunn, and Kentucky, where Democrats are excited about their chances against GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell.

They’ll also work to defend an open seat in Michigan, and Democratic Sens. Mark Udall in Colorado and Kay Hagan in North Carolina.

But CREDO has no plans to engage in Arkansas, Louisiana or Alaska, where Sens. Mark Pryor, Mary Landrieu and Mark Begich, respectively, are considered vulnerable because of the red lean of those states.

Those senators routinely break with their party on hot-button issues like gun control and energy production. While their willingness to defy Democratic orthodoxy is a boon in their reelection fights, as they seek to distance themselves from an unpopular President Obama, it can also be an issue for Democratic groups engaging in races this cycle.

CREDO’s president, Becky Bond, said the group is focused on the Senate in part because of frustration with the White House.

"For progressives, the Senate is a firewall against the Tea Party crazies in the House as well as a White House that has demonstrated a propensity to cave to Republicans on the some of the issues we care about,” she said.