More than a year before Election Day, Republicans in Washington are already spending big to assist Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt.
One Nation — a nonprofit organization with ties to Republican strategist Karl Rove’s web of political groups — has plans to launch an $800,000 statewide television and radio ad campaign to boost Blunt’s image on veterans and military issues, the Springfield News-Leader reported . “In Missouri, $800,000 is a sizable buy at this stage in the election cycle,” said James Harris, a Show-Me State Republican strategist. “Holding the Senate is a top priority for Republicans, and it is not surprising that One Nation would jump in the race to help Sen. Blunt.”
Already this year, the group has spent money to boost Sen. Mark S. Kirk in Illinois, Sen. Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire, Sen. Rob Portman in Ohio and and Sen. Patrick J. Toomey in Pennsylvania — a who’s who list of vulnerable Republican incumbents.
Last month, Blunt received similar outside help from the American Chemistry Council, which represents U.S. chemical companies and which also ran ads in Ohio and Pennsylvania.
The script for the Missouri commercial has not been released, but the topic — veterans and military issues — is one that has already been a focus of both campaigns. Blunt’s Democratic opponent, Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, is an ex-Army officer and has played up his own military record on the campaign trail.
Democrats said Monday the ad buy is a sign that national Republicans see Missouri as a similarly competitive state.
“Karl Rove running ads in your state is the surest sign that you are both a vulnerable Republican and a reliable vote for Washington special interests,” said Chris Hayden, a spokesman for the Missouri Democratic Party.
As a nonprofit organization, One Nation cannot directly advocate for a candidate. But, it can laud a candidate for policy positions. In some of its other commercials, it has attempted to tout a Senator’s legislative successes.
One Nation is one of four groups affiliated with Rove, including American Crossroads, Crossroads GPS, and the Senate Leadership Fund. It is led by Steven Law, a former chief of staff to Mitch McConnell who is also president of American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS.
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