Conservative super-PAC American Crossroads and the 501(c)(4) nonprofit affiliated with it are out with two new ads on Wednesday, one generically attacking President Obama and the other focusing on one of the political action committee's main targets — North Dakota Democratic Senate candidate Heidi Heitkamp.
The generic ad, titled "Forward?" features details about the sluggish economic recovery, including the number of Americans — 23 million — without full-time work, over clips of suffering families. It also includes shots at Obama's healthcare reform law, which is referred to as "a new tax on middle-class families," a common Republican refrain, and the debt incurred during Obama's tenure as president.
"Is that really forward, or backward?" the ad asks at the end.
The ad will run on a $6.6 million ad buy from American Crossroads in eight battleground states, including Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia.
The second, specific ad out from the affiliated nonprofit, Crossroads GPS, is aimed at Heitkamp, currently one of Democrats' best chances at holding onto a Senate seat in a tough state.
"Big Difference" ties Heitkamp to the president, highlighting her support for healthcare reform and, in contrast, Berg's vote to appeal the law and his opposition to the stimulus and support for a balanced budget amendment. It will run on a $110,000 buy in the state.
Though Republican challenger Rep. Rick Berg is running ahead in most polls so far, the race remains close, largely due to Heitkamp's strength as a candidate. But Crossroads GPS has launched a barrage of ads there in hopes of tipping the scales in a race that Republicans and Democrats alike believe is necessary to win to obtain or retain control of the Senate.
Because Heitkamp is generally well-liked in the state, most of Crossroads GPS's ads have taken this same tactic — tying her to Obama, who lost the state in 2008.
—This post was published at 9:13 a.m. and updated at 9:38 a.m.