GOP group previews attacks in Indiana, W.Va. and Ohio Senate races

GOP group previews attacks in Indiana, W.Va. and Ohio Senate races
© Greg Nash
 Republican opposition research firm America Rising is storming ahead after Tuesday's primaries, launching a warning shot at vulnerable Democrats now have that their Republican opponents officially have the party's nominations. 
 
In a new memo to donors sent Wednesday morning and obtained by The Hill, top America Rising executives Joe Pounder and Alexandra Smith sent donors an early look at their strategy to attack Democratic Sens. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinCritics say Interior's top lawyer came 'close to perjury' during Hill testimony Critics say Interior's top lawyer came 'close to perjury' during Hill testimony The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by MAPRx — Trump takes heat for remarks on help from foreign governments MORE (W.Va.), Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyConservatives spark threat of bloody GOP primaries Anti-corruption group hits Congress for ignoring K Street, Capitol Hill 'revolving door' K Street giants scoop up coveted ex-lawmakers MORE (Ind.) and Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownOn The Money: Trade chief defends Trump tariffs before skeptical Congress | Kudlow denies plan to demote Fed chief | Waters asks Facebook to halt cryptocurrency project On The Money: Trade chief defends Trump tariffs before skeptical Congress | Kudlow denies plan to demote Fed chief | Waters asks Facebook to halt cryptocurrency project Maxine Waters calls on Facebook to halt cryptocurrency project MORE (Ohio).
 
 
"The combination of opposition research and rapid response is the most effective way to define a candidate and influence the trajectory of a race. America Rising PAC is prepared to deploy our research to exploit the vulnerabilities of Senators Manchin, Donnelly, and Brown to voters in their states who overwhelmingly supported the President," the two write in the memo, noting they have more than 1,600 pages of opposition research on the three senators and have tracked them across tens of thousands of miles. 
 
"America Rising PAC is focused on an aggressive earned media effort applying opposition research on a daily basis to define the narrative against these Democratic Senators."
 
In West Virginia, Republicans dodged what they considered a bullet — the primary campaign of ex-convict and former coal baron Don Blankenship, who was defeated Tuesday night. The GOP saw Blankenship, who was convicted of willfully conspiring to violate mine safety laws after a fatal mine explosion that killed 29 miners, as a risk to their chances to defeat Manchin. 
 
After Blankenship's primary defeat, the party can move ahead with state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey as their nominee. 
 
The America Rising document bashes Manchin for claiming to be a "bipartisan moderate" while sitting "to the left of West Virginia voters on most issues." 
 
The group plans to hit Manchin for his vote against the GOP tax plan while highlighting his admission in December that there are "some good things" in the bill that could help people. They also plan to target Manchin's work to expand background checks in 2013 and his support for raising the minimum age to purchase a rifle in 2018, days after a deadly shooting at a Florida high school. 
 
But even as West Virginia has moved significantly to the right since Manchin joined office, he's a well-established brand there. Democrats see him as virtually the only Democrat who could keep that seat in play. 
 
In Indiana, where businessman Mike Braun took the top spot in the Republican primary, America Rising plans to double down on the GOP's top line of attack on Donnelly, criticizing him for ties to a family company that relied on workers in Mexico. 
 
They're also looking to paint Donnelly as a foe of the Trump administration, pointing to audio where he described the Trump base as not representative of the country as well as a fundraising pitch critical of Vice President Pence.
 
Donnelly's camp has been pushing back against those attacks for months by highlighting public policy research that shows him as one of the most bipartisan senators in Congress. 
 
Donnelly and Braun are expected to face off in one of the toughest matchups of the 2018 election cycle in a state Trump won by 19 points. 
 
In Ohio, where Republicans are hoping Rep. Jim RenacciJames (Jim) B. RenacciGOP rep: If Mueller had found collusion, 'investigation would have wrapped up very quickly' House Ethics Committee extends probe into Renacci Sherrod Brown says he has 'no real timetable' for deciding on 2020 presidential run MORE can finally knock off Brown, America Rising is planning to attack Brown's progressive record as proof that his status at the "darling of the progressive Left" doesn't fit in the purple state. 
 
The memo points to his support for single-payer health care — a measure Republicans love to needle Democrats for supporting by noting its significant cost. The GOP also uses that legislation to tie Brown to Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersFive takeaways from Trump's 2020 kickoff rally Five takeaways from Trump's 2020 kickoff rally Sanders tears into Trump in response to campaign kickoff rally MORE (I-Vt.), an avid supporter of the plan that is wildly popular on the left but far more controversial on the right. 
 
But dislodging Brown will be difficult — he's held elected office in the state for more than 30 years, and his populist streak has allowed him to run ahead of other Democrats in Ohio. 
 
--Updated at 4:10 p.m.