Crossroads GPS Makes Final Ad Buys in U.S. Senate Races

Karl Rove's dark money group Crossroads GPS and Super PAC American Crossroads are spending $10.5 million on Senate ads in the final week of the election, which is likely the largest one week buy from any group this election cycle, Politico reports.

Politico has summarized the final round of ad buys:

MONTANA—TESTER HAS BECOME A WASHINGTON INSIDER: "Jon Tester voted for $6 trillion in new debt, $1.8 trillion Obamacare," the text of the ad says. "Jon Tester as voted with Barack Obama 95% of the time. Washington changed Jon Tester."

WISCONSIN—BALDWIN IS AN EXTREMIST: "Are extreme politicians like Tammy Baldwin really making a difference? So far Tammy's voted to raise taxes, to cut $700 billion from Medicare spending, for trillions in new debt, and Washington is more broken than ever."

MAINE—KING IS AN INFLUENCE PEDDLER: "We've seen how Angus King blew it for Maine, using his influence on a government task force to help windmill companies like his. As governor, King slashed funding for our schools and pushed job-killing tax increases."

VIRGINIA—KAINE CREATED THE PROBLEM: "Barack Obama or Tim Kaine, which one ran up spending, blowing massive holes in the budget ... the answer is Obama and Kaine. How can Kaine fix the mess in Washington when he helped create it?"

VIRGINIA II—KAINE SUPPORTS CAP-AND-TRADE: "Tax-raising politician Tim Kaine backs cap-and-trade, which has been called a huge tax, raising energy bills for family, putting over 50,000 Virginia jobs at risk."

NORTH DAKOTA—HEITKAMP WOULD BE A ROADBLOCK TO REFORM: "If Mitt Romney is president, we can get our country back on track -- but not with Heidi Heitkamp in the Senate. ... We're so close to moving this country forward. Why elect a roadblock like Heidi Heitkamp?"

NEVADA—BERKLEY PLAGUED BY SCANDAL: "Unethical: lacking integrity. Synonym: Shelley Berkley. Berkley's been caught three times in scandals: first, urging her boss to buy off politicians with cash, then pushing a judge to go easy on a convicted criminal, a big campaign donor to Berkley. Now, Berkley's under a bipartisan investigation for enriching herself in office."

OHIO—BROWN SUPPORT FOR OBAMA HURT OHIO: "With Sherrod Brown in Washington, Ohio has its share of ups and downs. Taxes on Ohio manufacturers and job creators go up, Ohio jobs go down. Nearly 290,000 jobs lost. Wasteful government spending and federal debt go up, Ohio's economy goes down. Sherrod Brown's support for Obama goes up to 95 percent, Ohio's economy goes down."

Despite the large size of the buy, Crossroads' ads are very similar to those they have run in each race throughout the campaign.

Berkley, the Democratic candidate for Senate in Nevada, is attacked for her supposedly "unethical" career as a Nevada corporate lawyer. The ad which targets her accuses her of "urging her boss to buy off politicians with cash," but does not disclose his identity..."her boss" was, in fact Sheldon Adelson, a major financier of right wing organizations, including Mitt Romney's Restore Our Future.

In their attack on Angus King in Maine, Crossroads GPS makes the misleading claim that King used "his influence on a government task force to help windmill companies like his." While King did sit on such a task force, the "help" he secured was limited to ocean-based windmills, and did not benefit his land-based windmill company.

The only noticeable deviations in strategy for Crossroads is in its North Dakota and Wisconsin ads. In North Dakota, Crossroads GPS attempts to make the case that "If Mitt Romney is president, we can get our country back on track -- but not with Heidi Heitkamp in the Senate," effectively arguing that a vote for Heitkamp nullifies a vote for Romney.They are likely making this claim to dissuade voters from splitting the Republican ticket in North Dakota, which is certainly possible -- though Romney holds a strong lead in the state, Heitkamp is within striking distance of her rival, Republican Rick Berg.

In Wisconsin, Crossroads GPS continues their strategy of labeling Baldwin as "too extreme," but makes the unusual move of praising her opponent, former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson, as well. This marks the first appearance of Thompson in a Crossroads ad, and while they do not instruct the viewer to vote for Thompson directly, they assure the viewer that Thompson will govern "the Wisconsin Way."

The Hill reports that $2.3 million, more than one-fifth of Crossroads' entire buy, is going into the Wisconsin race.


The author listed as "PRwatch Editors" is for reports attributable to CMD's editors or guest authors.