Following Erick’s note this morning about the ads President Trump is running in Georgia, how they do nothing to expand his pool of voters and signal problems, Paul Steinhauser at Fox News is breaking a story that outside groups are dumping a full $21 million into bolstering Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler:
One Nation – the nonprofit advocacy arm of American Crossroads – on Wednesday is placing an $8.65 million ad buy to run spots for four weeks in Georgia, starting on August 4.
And Senate Leadership Fund — a Crossroads-affiliated super PAC that works to “protect and expand” the GOP majority in the Senate – is expected later this week to shell out up to $13.5 million to start running ads in mid-September.
With more voters likely to cast absentee ballots this year, and therefore vote earlier, the timing of these ad buys is probably smart. That said, it also speaks to the highly-compressed timetable in which both Senators have to shore up their positions as Democrats put more and more focus on Georgia and turning out their voters.
In Fox’s latest poll of Georgia, conducted in late June:
incumbent David Perdue (45 percent) tops Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff (42 percent) by 3 points. Some 13 percent are uncommitted. Six percent of Biden supporters split their ticket and back Perdue, while 2 percent of Trump backers defect to Ossoff.
That poll did not measure Loeffler’s support, which appears to have last been tested in a University of Georgia poll released in March. That poll, however, showed Loeffler in a tight race with Rep. Doug Collins, with 31 percent of voters undecided, and a further combined 23.5 percent favoring Democratic candidates.
Interestingly, while several prominent Republicans’ fortunes have declined in Georgia, the late June Fox poll showed that “Fifty-four percent approve of how Republican Gov. Brian Kemp is doing his job, including one-quarter of Democrats (27 percent). Thirty-nine percent disapprove.”
This is despite Kemp having taken a major gamble on re-opening.
Perhaps Georgia voters just prefer their state’s executive, or perhaps they are proving more willing to support officials who have shown gumption and determination in recent weeks, taking significant gambles as opposed to playing it safe and sticking to the usual playbook.
If that’s right, even $21 million seems unlikely to move the needle much for Perdue or Loeffler though both may ultimately survive what looks like a bad year for the GOP.