Crossroads targets Democratic Senators up in 2014 on fiscal cliff

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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Crossroads GPS kicked off its 2014 push Tuesday with a fiscal cliff-themed slate of radio ads targeting Democratic Senators who are facing potentially tough re-election races next year.

Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska, Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina, and South Dakota Sen. Tim Johnson all face re-election in fairly Republican states two years from now. West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller, the fifth senator targeted, is running for re-election in a state that has become dependably red in presidential elections, but currently has two Democratic senators and a Democratic governor, and historically tends to vote Democrats into statewide office.

Two years out, Rockefeller and Johnson have already drawn competitive Republican opponents.

The ads do not attack the Senators; rather, they attack President Barack Obama for his push to raise taxes, which they say will create “even more debt,” and his proposal that would allow the president to unilaterally raise the debt ceiling. The ad then asks the senators to push for a fiscal cliff deal that includes real spending cuts in addition to new revenue.

“We need bipartisan solutions … Both parties helped create the mess in Washington, both parties should work together to clean it up,” the ads say, asking residents of the state to call their senator.

The group put $240,000 behind the buys, which will begin airing Tuesday.

“A balanced plan includes more than just the massive tax increases President Obama is insisting Congress pass, and these U.S. Senators should lead by pushing for significant spending cuts,” said Crossroads GPS president and CEO Steven Law in a statement. “It is up to these U.S. Senators to push President Obama and Harry Reid to show real leadership by negotiating a balanced plan which stops Washington spending and helps our economy.”

The senators Crossroads chose to target, and the fact that Senate Democrats are fairly removed from fiscal cliff discussions at this point as Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner work to negotiate a deal, suggests that the buy has more to do with 2014 than with the current negotiations.

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