State Watch

Conservative group plans ad launch after court announcement to pressure red-state Dems


The conservative Judicial Crisis Network will launch an ad campaign after President Trump announces his Supreme Court nominee late Monday to pressure Democratic senators in red states to back the president’s selection.

The group will release $1.4 million in digital and cable ads targeting lawmakers in Alabama, Indiana, North Dakota and West Virginia, Jonathan Easley and Alexis Simendinger reported in The Hill’s Morning Report.

Democratic Sens. Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.) and Joe Manchin (W.Va.) are among those being targeted, as is Sen. Doug Jones (Ala.), they noted. Unlike the others, Jones is not up for reelection this year.

{mosads}The Judicial Crisis Network is running the ads for one week and has reserved another four weeks of air time nationally and in the four states.

The ads will focus on the biography of Trump’s Supreme Court pick.

Another crop of ads funded by the Judicial Crisis Network, which cost $1 million and started running over a week ago, frame Democrats who oppose Trump’s nominee as obstructionist.

“President Trump has proven that he wants the best of the best on the Supreme Court,” that ad’s narrator says. “He appointed Justice Neil Gorsuch, a fair and independent justice, committed to the Constitution.”

“Extremists will lie and attack the nominee, but don’t be fooled,” the narrator continues. “President Trump’s list includes the best of the best. And with your help, America will get another star on the Supreme Court.”

Democratic votes for Trump’s Supreme Court pick may be important for confirmation, as Republicans hold a slim 51-49 Senate majority.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in 2016 blocked a vote on former President Obama’s Supreme Court pick, Merrick Garland, and many on the left are calling on a similar response from Democrats.

Americans for Prosperity, an advocacy group founded by GOP mega-donors Charles and David Koch, is also prepared to spend more than $1 million to support Trump’s nominee, Politico reported. 

–This report was updated at 1:54 p.m.

Tags Donald Trump Heidi Heitkamp Joe Donnelly Joe Manchin Merrick Garland Mitch McConnell
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