McConnell-linked group targets Democrats in five red states

McConnell-linked group targets Democrats in five red states
© Greg Nash

The Senate Leadership Fund (SLF), a Republican fundraising group affiliated with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report - Dem candidates sell policy as smart politics Overnight Defense: Trump ends sanctions waivers for buying Iranian oil | At least four Americans killed in Sri Lanka attacks | Sanders pushes for Yemen veto override vote McConnell: 'Time to move on' from Trump impeachment talk MORE (R-Ky.), on Tuesday announced a new $5.65 million advertising blitz hitting Democratic candidates in five battleground states: Indiana, Missouri, Nevada, North Dakota and Tennessee.

The media buy funds a new round of negative television, cable and radio ads hitting Democratic candidates who have posted surprisingly good numbers in red states in recent polls.


The group will spend $1.4 million on ads in Indiana highlighting President TrumpDonald John TrumpRussia's election interference is a problem for the GOP Pence to pitch trade deal during trip to Michigan: report Iran oil minister: US made 'bad mistake' in ending sanctions waivers MORE’s endorsement of Republican businessman Mike Braun and hitting Sen. Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyK Street boom extends under Trump, House Dems Some in GOP fear Buttigieg run for governor Paul Ryan joins University of Notre Dame faculty MORE (D) as “somebody that says something when you’re in Indiana and does something differently when you’re in D.C.”

An NBC/Marist poll last week showed Donnelly leading Braun by 6 points, a big surprise in a state that some Republicans are counting as a pickup.

Another NBC/Marist survey showed former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen, a Democrat, leading his GOP opponent, Rep. Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnConservative groups defend tech from GOP crackdown Lawmakers weigh challenges in fighting robocalls Senators show deep skepticism on Space Force proposal MORE, by 2 points.

To blunt Bredesen's momentum, SLF is spending $1.1 million on a new round of broadcast, cable, radio and digital ads hitting him for supporting tax increases over his career.

The narrator in one ad charges Bredesen with raising taxes and fees by nearly $1 billion and slams him for criticizing Trump’s tax cuts as morally wrong.

“Phil Bredesen is out of touch,” the ad declares.

A new $1 million ad blitz in Nevada, meanwhile, is hitting Rep. Jacky RosenJacklyn (Jacky) Sheryl RosenHillicon Valley — Presented by CTIA and America's wireless industry — Prosecutors used FISA warrant to get info on Huawei | Study finds discrimination in Facebook ads | Bezos retains voting control over ex-wife's Amazon stocks More than 30 Senate Dems ask Trump to reconsider Central American aid cuts Dem senators introduce bill to combat sexual harassment in STEM MORE. The Senate Democratic nominee voted with House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiPence to pitch trade deal during trip to Michigan: report Julián Castro: Trump should be impeached for trying to obstruct justice 'in very concrete ways' Swalwell on impeachment: 'We're on that road' after Mueller report MORE (D-Calif.) earlier this year against government funding resolutions that failed to help young immigrants exposed to deportation because Trump rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

“Rosen fell in line with Nancy Pelosi and repeatedly voted to shut down the government, holding health care funding for low-income children hostage,” a narrator charges.

SLF is also hitting Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillBig Dem names show little interest in Senate Gillibrand, Grassley reintroduce campus sexual assault bill Endorsements? Biden can't count on a flood from the Senate MORE (D-Mo.) over immigration with a new $1.8 million ad buy in Missouri.

A new television ad juxtaposes a statement McCaskill made in 2006 opposing amnesty for immigrants in the country illegally to her 2013 vote in favor of a bipartisan immigration bill that created a pathway to citizenship for an estimated 11 million people.

“In Washington, McCaskill joined the liberals for giving amnesty to 11 million illegal immigrants without border protections in place,” the ad charges. “After 12 years in the Senate, McCaskill’s gone Washington and left Missouri behind.”

The bill also had support from Republicans such as Sens. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakePollster says Trump unlikely to face 'significant' primary challenge Trump gives nod to vulnerable GOP Sen. McSally with bill signing Flake opens up about threats against him and his family MORE (Ariz.), Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioSenate Republicans tested on Trump support after Mueller Cuban negotiator says Trump's efforts to destabilize Cuba's government will fail Freedom to Compete Act would benefit many American workers MORE (Fla.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamIf you don't think illegal immigrants are voting for president, think again Graham challenges Dems to walk the walk on impeachment Hillicon Valley: House Dems subpoena full Mueller report | DOJ pushes back at 'premature' subpoena | Dems reject offer to view report with fewer redactions | Trump camp runs Facebook ads about Mueller report | Uber gets B for self-driving cars MORE (S.C.).

An NBC/Marist poll last week showed McCaskill tied with her Republican opponent, Josh Hawley, at 47 percent.

In North Dakota, a new $350,000 ad buy is hitting Sen. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampPro-trade groups enlist another ex-Dem lawmaker to push for Trump's NAFTA replacement Pro-trade group targets 4 lawmakers in push for new NAFTA Biden office highlights support from women after second accuser comes forward MORE (D) as someone who “rubberstamps the Washington liberal agenda.”

The ad highlights Heitkamp’s support for the 2013 comprehensive immigration reform bill as well as for former President Obama’s Iran nuclear deal.

It also points to her support for a bipartisan immigration bill backed by Sens. Christopher CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsMenendez, Rubio lead Senate effort to regulate Venezuelan sanctions Dem report questions State Dept. decision to revoke award to Trump critic Senate Dem calls on Trump to apologize for attacks on McCain MORE (D-Del.) and John McCainJohn Sidney McCainIf you don't think illegal immigrants are voting for president, think again 10 factors making Russia election interference the most enduring scandal of the Obama era Earth Day founder's daughter: Most Republican leaders believe in climate change in private MORE (R-Ariz.) that provided a pathway to citizenship for more than 1 million immigrants who came to the country illegally as children.

The Senate Leadership Fund’s president and CEO, Steven Law, is McConnell’s former chief of staff.

--This report was updated at 4:53 p.m.