Vets group to spend $200,000 to boost McCaskill

The veterans advocacy group VoteVets.org will spend $200,000 on an ad touting Sen. Claire McCaskill’s (D-Mo.) work on behalf of veterans, as she fights for a second term in the Senate.

The ad will air for two weeks in the St. Louis and Kansas City media markets, and the group said it was considering extending the buy.

VoteVets spent $15 million on political activity in the previous cycle, but the McCaskill ad is its first of the 2012 cycle. The group says it represents more than 100,000 veterans and their families and supporters.

The 30-second spot shows a combat scene as seen through a scope, then features Iraq veterans describing how the return home has been difficult. The veterans laud McCaskill’s efforts to ensure proper services for veterans and to preserve funding for Veterans Affairs hospitals, including one in Columbia, Mo.


“Claire McCaskill’s got our back,” says one veteran.

“And senator, we’ve got yours,” says another.

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The first-term Democrat is facing tough opposition in her reelection bid in a conservative-leaning state where the public has soured on President Obama. Republicans and GOP-aligned outside groups have made McCaskill a top target for 2012, spending millions of dollars to air attack ads.

But McCaskill has raised huge chunks of cash too, and has positioned herself as a centrist who occasionally diverges from her party on key issues. She has also showcased her advocacy for constituency groups such as veterans, hosting a forum last week in St. Louis to listen to their concerns and working to strengthen education benefits and prevent base closures.

The Hill rates this race a toss-up.

Watch the ad: