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George Conway group targets McSally in new ad

The Lincoln Project, a Republican super PAC partly run by George ConwayGeorge Thomas ConwayRaccoon that 'attacked' news crews on White House lawn sparks viral jokes George and Kellyanne Conway honor Ginsburg Lincoln Project releases new ad blasting Trump as 'a horrible role model' MORE, is targeting GOP Sen. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyDemocrats brace for nail-biting finish to Senate battle Trump expressed doubt to donors GOP can hold Senate: report Mark Kelly releases Spanish ad featuring Rep. Gallego MORE (Ariz.) in a new attack ad, its first major foray into down-ballot races after a string of videos targeting President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump admin to announce coronavirus vaccine will be covered under Medicare, Medicaid: report Election officials say they're getting suspicious emails that may be part of malicious attack on voting: report McConnell tees up Trump judicial pick following Supreme Court vote MORE

The group, whose national profile has skyrocketed amid a longstanding public spat with Trump, accused McSally of being too close with the president and shirking the bipartisanship for which her predecessors garnered praise.

“Martha McSally is no John McCainJohn Sidney McCainObama book excerpt: 'Hard to deny my overconfidence' during early health care discussions Mark Kelly releases Spanish ad featuring Rep. Gallego More than 300 military family members endorse Biden MORE. She’s no Barry Goldwater. Martha McSally doesn’t deserve their seat in the U.S. Senate,” a male narrator reads in the six-second clip.

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“Martha McSally has tarnished the strong and powerful leadership that came before her. People like John McCain and Barry Goldwater have worked tirelessly for Arizonans and Martha McSally has only worked for Donald Trump,” Jennifer Horn, co-founder of The Lincoln Project, added in a press release. 

The Lincoln Project did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill regarding the cost of the ad buy and how long the clip will air.

The group’s latest attack ad indicates McSally will also have to defend herself from intraparty criticism as she faces a stiff challenge from Democrat Mark Kelly, a former astronaut and gun control activist, to serve the remainder of the late Sen. John McCain’s (R) term.

A string of polls have shown McSally trailing Kelly, who has emerged as a fundraising juggernaut since he launched his campaign. The former astronaut raked in $11 million in the first quarter of the year, finishing the period with $19.7 million in the bank, while McSally brought in more than $6.3 million and had $10.2 million cash on hand at the same point. 

McSally’s seat is likely a crucial piece of both parties’ plans to try to control the Senate. Reelecting her will be a major focus of the GOP’s effort to protect its current 53-47 majority, while Democrats will almost certainly have to get Kelly elected to capture the majority themselves.

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The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapper, rates the Arizona Senate race as a “toss-up.”

The Lincoln Project has been embroiled in a back-and-forth with Trump, a McSally backer, over a string of ads they released hammering the president for his rhetoric and response to the coronavirus.

“There's mourning in America,” the narrator says in one ad. “Today more than 60,000 Americans have died from a deadly virus Donald Trump ignored. With the economy in shambles more than 26 million Americans are out of work, the worst economies in decades.”

Trump has since torn into the group, calling its founders “losers.”

“I don’t know what Kellyanne did to her deranged loser of a husband, Moonface, but it must have been really bad,” Trump tweeted in reference to Conway, a Washington, D.C., lawyer whose wife, Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayMelania Trump to hit campaign trail in Pennsylvania White House to host swearing-in event for Barrett on Monday night Pence adviser Marty Obst tests positive for COVID-19 MORE, works as a counselor to the president.

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The group has signaled it has no intention of backing down, saying it had its best fundraising day on record after Trump’s response. 

“The Lincoln Project is committed to defeating candidates, like McSally, who have abandoned their Constitutional oath,” the group said in a press release announcing its ad against McSally.

McSally’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.