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Senate GOP's campaign arm releases first ad targeting Bollier in Kansas

Senate GOP's campaign arm releases first ad targeting Bollier in Kansas
© Youtube/ Barbara Bollier

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. MarshallThe Hill's Morning Report - Too close to call Marshall wins Kansas Senate race Live updates: Democrats fight to take control of the Senate MORE, the GOP candidate in the race to replace the retiring Sen. Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsTrump's controversial Fed nominee stalled after Senate setback Business groups scramble to forge ties amid race for House Agriculture chair Republicans hold on to competitive Kansas House seat 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.”

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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. 

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"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 SchumerUS national security policy in the 117th Congress and a new administration Voters say Biden should make coronavirus vaccine a priority: poll New York City subway service could be slashed 40 percent, officials warn 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 John TrumpBiden adds to vote margin over Trump after Milwaukee County recount Krebs says allegations of foreign interference in 2020 election 'farcical'  Republicans ready to become deficit hawks again under a President Biden 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 SchumerUS national security policy in the 117th Congress and a new administration Voters say Biden should make coronavirus vaccine a priority: poll New York City subway service could be slashed 40 percent, officials warn 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.