GOP going on offense to retain control of Senate in November
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After months of watching Democrats take their message to the people in the party’s attempt to retake the Senate in November, Republicans are now back on the offense as they work to defend 23 of 35 seats up for grabs.
This week the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) – which is the campaign arm of the Senate Republicans – kicked off a major ad blitz in three key races that could determine which party controls the chamber next year. And the NRSC says it will be on the airwaves in three more crucial contests by next month.
Democratic campaigns and outside groups backing Senate Democrats have vastly outspent the Republicans to date, using ads to blast GOP incumbents facing challenging re-elections this year.
But as they try to keep their 53-47 majority in the Senate, the NRSC’s saying enough is enough and is taking aim at some of the Democratic challengers and incumbents.
"Democrats have skated by without much scrutiny for the last year. There's plenty of skeletons in their closet, and a bright light is about to shine on all of them,” NRSC communications director Jesse Hunt told the network.
Meanwhile, the Washington Examiner reported that Republican Party field staff are preparing to once again get out and about to knock on doors and bring the party’s and President Trump’s message to voters after a three-month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In March, the Republican National Committee pulled all field personnel in and began to rely on digital messaging including texts, livestreams and phone calls. But next week, field operatives will redeploy to neighborhoods in districts all over the country as the 2020 election looms large in the fall.
“Starting next week, Trump Victory field teams will resume in-person volunteer activities and campaigning where legally allowed,” RNC spokeswoman Mandi Merritt said in a statement provided to the Washington Examiner on Friday. “Just as Trump Victory was able to transition to virtual campaigning in less than 24 hours, our teams across the country will seamlessly adapt again just as efficiently.”
The news site noted further that the president himself is also preparing to get back out on the campaign trail to do in-person fundraising and, where possible, even campaign rallies.
As for the NRSC, the organization released a new ad targeting a Democratic challenger to incumbent Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), state House Speaker Sara Gideon. The ad focuses on Gideon’s acceptance of corporate donations last year as well as an ethics fine she received last year from a state ethics panel.
Another NRSC ad focuses on the race between incumbent GOP Sen. Martha McSally and challenger and former astronaut Mark Kelly in Arizona, noting that the latter is “just too connected to China.”
The party is also focusing on flipping a blue seat in Michigan to red, targeting Democratic Sen. Gary Peters.
In all, the NRSC purchased $33 million worth of ad buys to run over the summer as the party seeks to counter superior ad spending by Democrats.
“In addition to the NRSC ad blitz, One Nation – an outside group aligned with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell – announced this week that they’ll spend more than $27 million to air TV and radio ads in six key Senate races this summer,” Fox News reported further.