Dem group launches $2M ad buy to boost vulnerable senators

Dem group launches $2M ad buy to boost vulnerable senators
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority PAC, a prominent Democratic outside group, is launching a $1.8 million effort to defend two incumbents in Missouri and Indiana.

Sens. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillConservative group calls for ethics probe into McCaskill’s use of private plane Senate moderates hunt for compromise on family separation bill Election Countdown: Family separation policy may haunt GOP in November | Why Republican candidates are bracing for surprises | House Dems rake in record May haul | 'Dumpster fire' ad goes viral MORE (Mo.) and Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyElection Countdown: Family separation policy may haunt GOP in November | Why Republican candidates are bracing for surprises | House Dems rake in record May haul | 'Dumpster fire' ad goes viral Actress Marcia Gay Harden urges Congress to boost Alzheimer's funding Manchin becomes final Democrat to back bill preventing separation of immigrant families MORE (Ind.) are both vulnerable Democrats in states President TrumpDonald John TrumpCNN analyst Kirsten Powers: Melania's jacket should read 'Let them eat cake' CNN's Cuomo confronts Lewandowski over 'womp womp' remark Sessions says FBI agent Peter Strzok no longer has his security clearance MORE won overwhelmingly in 2016.

And they are already top targets for Republicans, who are hitting the two for voting against Trump's tax cuts plan. Conservative group Americans for Prosperity is readying a $4 million push against McCaskill and Donnelly, according to The Associated Press.

Senate Majority PAC will run two television ads defending the senators and hitting back at the tax law. The ads cite analysis from the Tax Policy Center that claims the tax law will give "83 percent of tax benefits to the richest 1 percent."

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“Claire McCaskill and Joe Donnelly refuse to cut Medicare and balloon the national debt so that the Koch brothers can get another tax break,” said Chris Hayden, Senate Majority PAC's communications director, referring to the GOP megadonors who help fund Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group.

“While their Republican opponents will do anything to impress out-of-state billionaires, Claire and Joe have a bipartisan record of putting middle class families first.”

Republicans plan to use the tax law against Democrats in the midterms, arguing that Americans will view the reforms favorably as their take-home pay rises.

Senate Majority PAC is also planning a smaller ad buy in West Virginia, according to the media buying firm Medium Buying. There, Democrats are hoping to bolster Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — Trump caves under immense pressure — what now? Election Countdown: Family separation policy may haunt GOP in November | Why Republican candidates are bracing for surprises | House Dems rake in record May haul | 'Dumpster fire' ad goes viral Manchin up 9 points over GOP challenger in W.Va. Senate race MORE (D), who has faced similar attacks from GOP groups.

The campaign for Josh Hawley, the top Republican in the race to face off against McCaskill, slammed the new ads in a statement Friday.

"It’s not surprising that Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerMontana's environmental lobby teams with governor to kill 600 jobs Dems allow separation of parents, children to continue, just to score political points Democrats' education agenda would jeopardize state-level success MORE’s PAC is launching an attack ad to try and save Claire McCaskill from the conservative voters of Missouri. After all, they vacation and attend baseball games together,” said Kelli Ford, a Hawley campaign spokeswoman. 

“Claire didn’t support President Trump’s middle-class tax cuts – she opposed them. Josh Hawley is also fully committed to protecting Social Security and Medicare for our seniors. Missouri voters deserve better than discredited Democrat talking points.”

Updated: 4:52 p.m.