Planned Parenthood unleashes digital ad blitz against Susan Collins

Planned Parenthood Action Fund launched an ad campaign against Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThe Hill's Campaign Report: Trump's visit to battleground Ohio overshadowed by coronavirus New polls show tight races for Graham, McConnell McConnell goes hands-off on coronavirus relief bill MORE Thursday, hitting the Maine Republican over her vote to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughMcConnell has 17-point lead over Democratic challenger McGrath: poll Davis: My recommendation for vice president on Biden ticket Kavanaugh urged Supreme Court to avoid decisions on Trump finances, abortion: report MORE.

The ad campaign, which is backed by a six-figure buy and will predominantly be featured on Facebook and Instagram, points to Kavanaugh’s recent vote to uphold a Louisiana restriction on abortions, noting Collins had expressed confidence prior to her confirmation vote that the judge would maintain access to the procedure while on the high court. 

“Susan Collins trusted Brett Kavanaugh to protect safe, legal abortion,” a female narrator says in the ad, which was obtained exclusively by The Hill. “But she was wrong. Kavanaugh voted against abortion the first chance he got. Susan Collins can’t be trusted to protect our reproductive health and rights.” 

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The ad urges Mainers to pressure Collins to oppose any future judicial picks and ends by urging voters to “tell Susan Collins to reject Trump’s extreme judicial nominees.”

The ad underscores how Democrats intend to hammer Collins over her controversial vote to confirm Kavanaugh at a time he was facing sexual misconduct allegations. Kavanaugh strongly denied the allegations.

Collins is considered one of the most vulnerable senators facing reelection this year.

Collins met with Kavanaugh before his confirmation and later expressed confidence that he’d honor Supreme Court precedent and protect access to abortion.

“Susan Collins was warned by Mainers that Brett Kavanaugh couldn’t be trusted to protect their reproductive health and rights, but she failed to listen,” said Sarah Standiford, national campaign director of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, in a statement to The Hill.

Democrats intend to underscore Collins’s votes to support Kavanaugh and the GOP’s tax plan in 2017 as they work to boost Maine state House Speaker Sara Gideon, who won the Democratic Senate primary Tuesday.

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The party is confident that Gideon, who has proven to be a strong fundraiser, will give Collins a tough challenge.

Collins has worked hard to burnish a reputation as an independent-minded Republican, but Democrats plan to tie her to the Trump administration's policies during the campaign. 

The Cook Political Report rates the race as a “toss-up.”