Senate Republicans’ campaign arm is launching its first attack ad against Kansas state Sen. Barbara Bollier (D) as it looks to defend the Sunflower State’s Senate seat.
The 30-second clip from the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) looks to tear down Bollier, a Republican-turned-Democrat, hitting her over her defense of the Affordable Care Act in an attempt to defend Rep. Roger MarshallRoger W. MarshallGOP senators seek to block dishonorable discharges for unvaccinated troops Kansas approves using M in federal funds to increase nurses' pay Photos of the Week: Infrastructure vote, India floods and a bear MORE, the GOP candidate in the race to replace the retiring Sen. Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsBob Dole, Pat Roberts endorse Kansas AG Derek Schmidt for governor Ex-Sen. Cory Gardner joins lobbying firm Senate GOP faces retirement brain drain MORE (R). Republicans have held the Senate seat for more than a century.
“Barbara Bollier and radical Democrats have been pushing more government control of health care for years. Bollier fought to expand ObamaCare — even supports a public option. Rural hospitals would be forced to close. Employer provided coverage at risk. And Bollier’s plan would raise taxes $2,000 a year,” a narrator says. “On health care, Barbara Bollier stands with them, not Kansas.”
It was not immediately clear how much money went into the 30-second clip, but a Republican source tells The Hill the ad is part of a $2.7 million ad blitz in the state.
Republicans have centered their arguments against Bollier around claims that she would be a reliable Democratic vote, alleging that she is overblowing her independence after her party switch in 2018.
"Despite false claims she's not a radical liberal, on issue after issue Democrat Barbara Bollier has shown Kansas voters who she really is," said NRSC spokesperson Joanna Rodriguez. "Bollier is standing lockstep with Democrats to give government more control over Kansans' health care, confiscate their guns, and reduce the impact of their vote by adding 4 more votes for [Senate Minority Leader] Chuck SchumerChuck SchumerBiden touts 'progress' during 'candid' meetings on .5T plan Progressives push for fossil subsidy repeal in spending bill Louisiana delegation split over debt hike bill with disaster aid MORE through statehood for Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C."
Marshall, who’s served two terms in the House, has received the backing of the Republican establishment since the primary when the GOP looked to promote him over former Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R), an arch-conservative ally of President TrumpDonald TrumpUkraine's president compares UN to 'a retired superhero' Collins to endorse LePage in Maine governor comeback bid Heller won't say if Biden won election MORE who lost the 2018 gubernatorial race to Democrat Laura Kelly.
The rush to defend Marshall in the final sprint to Election Day comes as polls show a tight race between him and Bollier. A poll conducted by Keep Kansas Great PAC, a pro-Marshall group, showed him leading by 4 points. A poll conducted for Bollier’s campaign showed her leading by 2.
Bollier also raised $13.5 million in the last quarter, a record haul for a Kansas Senate race.
She still faces an uphill climb to defeat Marshall in a state where Trump is expected to coast to victory, meaning she might have to convince a substantial number of voters to split their tickets. Kansas has also proven reticent to send a Democrat to the Senate, last electing one to the upper chamber in 1932.
But Democrats still see an opportunity to go on offense in the Sunflower State given the close polls and Bollier’s strong fundraising. Duty and Country, a super PAC affiliated with Senate Majority PAC and run by associates of Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBiden touts 'progress' during 'candid' meetings on .5T plan Progressives push for fossil subsidy repeal in spending bill Louisiana delegation split over debt hike bill with disaster aid MORE (D-N.Y.), invested $7.5 million in the race earlier this month in an ad blitz hitting Marshall over the closing of a rural hospital in his district.
Bollier’s campaign expressed confidence that the state senator’s message is resonating with voters, casting the new ad blitz as a GOP effort to rescue a flagging candidate.
“Roger Marshall's political bosses in Washington are desperate to save his struggling campaign, and for good reason. They know that Barbara's message of independence, reason, and decency is resonating with voters. Throughout her entire career, Barbara has fought to expand access to affordable healthcare, lower prescription drug prices, end surprise medical billing and to protect folks with pre-existing conditions,” said Alexandra De Luca, the campaign’s communications director.
The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapper, rates the Senate race as “lean” Republican.