Senate races

Senate races

Warren ad says system is 'rigged,' echoing convention speech

Democratic candidate for Senate in Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren is out with a new ad on Thursday repeating one of her most frequent lines on the stump: that "the system is rigged against" small-business owners and others outside of Washington.

"Small business owners bust their tails every day. But they can’t afford armies of lobbyists in Washington," Warren says in the ad.

The idea that "Washington is rigged for the big guys," as Warren says at the close of the ad, echoes her speech at the Democratic National Convention the night before in which she frequently referred to the system being "rigged."

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DSCC hits Rehberg over opposition to Buffett Rule

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) is up with an ad in Montana this week attempting to tar Republican Rep. Denny Rehberg as a rich lawmaker out to protect his own interests, to the detriment of average Montanans.

"The average Montanan makes $36,000 a year and pays their fair share of taxes, but Dennis Rehberg thinks millionaires like him shouldn’t have to," the ad says, citing Rehberg's opposition to the Buffett Rule, which would increase taxes on the wealthiest Americans.

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Club for Growth slams Donnelly with $800,000 ad buy

The Club for Growth is out with a new ad in the Indiana Senate race, slamming Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly for his support of Democratic policies in Washington.

The ad, "Typical," is part of an $800,000 buy in the state. It attacks Donnelly for supporting "liberal Nancy Pelosi for Speaker" of the House, the bank bailout and a "government takeover of health care" in backing President Obama's healthcare reform law.

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American Crossroads attacks Obama 'Forward' slogan

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.

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Nelson leads Mack in Florida Senate race

A new poll puts incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) in the lead in Florida's Senate race, despite low favorability numbers, as he's boosted largely by opponent Rep. Connie Mack's (R) unpopularity in the state.

The survey, out from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling, gives Nelson a 7-percentage-point lead over Mack, an increase of 5 percentage points from PPP's last poll late last month. But he's certainly not sitting pretty in the seat: Only about one-third of voters approve of the two-term senator, compared to 42 percent who disapprove.

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Veterans group to back McCaskill, Tester

A progressive veterans group is pouring $200,000 total into two states, Missouri and Montana, to back the Democratic nominees there.

VoteVets Action Fund, which labels itself as the the "largest progressive group of veterans in America," will spend $100,000 in each state to back Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and  Jon Tester (D-Mont.). 

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Democrats say Goldwater endorsement burnishes Carmona's pro-women credentials

Democrats are using the Goldwater family's endorsement of their candidate for Senate in Arizona, Richard Carmona, to launch a new line of attack on Republican opponent Rep. Jeff Flake's (Ariz.) position on women's issues.

Former Sen. Barry Goldwater is one of Arizona's best-known conservative figures, and the endorsement from his daughter Joanne and granddaughter CC could help back up his claim that he's moderate enough for right-leaning Arizona.

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Brown to highlight Mandel's 'un-American' comments

Sen. Sherrod Brown's (D-Ohio) campaign highlighted remarks made by challenger Josh Mandel that Brown was "un-American" in supporting the auto bailout at an event Thursday.

The event will feature retired Maj. Gen. Dennis Laich and retired Brig. Gen. Sam Kindred, a co-chairman of the Veterans for Sherrod group.

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