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The top super PAC backing Senate Democrats didn’t wait long to take aim at Blake Masters, the newly nominated Republican Senate challenger to Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly of Arizona, over the combustible issue of restricting abortion access.
“Three years ago, I had an ectopic pregnancy. If I didn’t make it into the OR within a couple minutes, I was going to bleed out and die,” says Brianna, a mother of three from Phoenix who survived a life-threatening ectopic pregnancy and says she was saved by an abortion, at the top of a new spot by Senate Majority PAC.
“But according to Blake Masters, that’s just too bad. He wants to ban all abortions, even in cases of rape, incest and the life of the mother,” Brianna argues, as she blasts Arizona’s GOP Senate nominee. “Masters is so extreme and so wrong for Arizona.”
Masters campaign adviser Katie Miller, responding to the spot, charged that “the Democrats are knowingly lying about Blake Masters by putting up an ad with no sourcing, because they don’t want the attention to be on Senator Mark Kelly’s absolutely failure on the border and the astronomical cost of gas & groceries.”
Senate Majority PAC says it’s spending $1.2 million to run the commercial in the swing state of Arizona.
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The group, which is aligned with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is also up this week with an ad in another key Senate battleground, North Carolina. The spot – backed by six figures – targets Rep. Ted Budd, the GOP Senate nominee in the race to succeed retiring Republican Sen. Richard Burr.
“Budd wants abortion outlawed, with no exceptions for rape or incest,” the narrator in the spot charges, referring to an interview Budd gave earlier this year in which he suggested he wouldn’t support such exceptions in any abortion ban.
The races in Arizona and North Carolina are among a handful that will likely determine if the Republicans win back the Senate majority.
Democrats face historical headwinds, as the party that wins the White House and control of Congress traditionally suffers major setbacks in the House and Senate in the ensuing midterm elections. They’re also up against a very unfavorable political climate, fueled by record inflation and soaring crime, and symbolized by President Biden’s deeply negative approval ratings.
ABORTIONS RIGHTS ACTIVISTS WIN BIG IN KEY KANSAS SHOWDOWN
But pointing to the issues of gun violence, following a slate of high-profile mass shootings in recent months, and abortion in the wake of the move by the Supreme Court’s conservative majority to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, which sent the issue of abortion regulation back to the states. Democrats see an energized electorate that will help them defy the current expectations by political prognosticators.
Democrats were further energized by Tuesday’s resounding victory in Kansas by pro-choice activists – in the first ballot box test of legalized abortion since the blockbuster high court ruling.
A national poll from Monmouth University, conducted ahead of Tuesday’s vote in Kansas, indicated abortion and gun control – each at 17% – tied for the No. 2 issues on the minds of voters, behind the economy at 24%.
“The result we just saw in Kansas speaks for itself: voters of every political persuasion are highly motivated to turn out and reject the GOP’s dangerous assault on a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions,” Senate Majority PAC spokesperson Veronica Yoo argued, in a statement to Fox News.
And she vowed, “We’re making sure folks continue seeing and hearing about Republican Senate candidates’ extreme agenda – from banning abortion nationwide and further rolling back reproductive rights to gutting Medicare and Social Security – so that voters can hold them accountable at the ballot box come November.”
“The result we just saw in Kansas speaks for itself: voters of every political persuasion are highly motivated to turn out and reject the GOP’s dangerous assault on a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions,” she said.
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The Senate Majority PAC isn’t the only Democratic group that’s launching a full court press this week on abortion.
The Democratic Governors Association didn’t wait long to take aim at Tudor Dixon, the newly nominated Republican gubernatorial challenger to Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, over the combustible issue of abortion.
A new ad launched Thursday by Put Michigan First, which is funded by the DGA, takes aim at the conservative commentator and former online news host for her stance on abortion.
“If you take Tudor Dixon at her word, when it comes to outlawing abortion, she’s told us exactly who she is,” the narrator in the spot says.
The ad then uses clips of Dixon media interviews, where she says she’s not in favor of exceptions that would allow for abortions in cases of rape or incest. Whitmer, who’s being heavily targeted as she runs for re-election in the key Midwestern battleground, has pledged to “fight like hell” to protect legalized abortion access.
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The group tells Fox News the commercial is the first in a month-long $4 million ad buy in Michigan.
“From Michigan and Wisconsin to Georgia and Arizona, Republicans are running for governor on dangerous plans to ban abortion with no exceptions and enforce it by throwing nurses in jail,” DGA communications director David Turner said in a statement to Fox News.
He emphasized that “while Kansas was the first post-Roe opportunity for voters to reject these kinds of radical and unpopular mandates that prohibit women from making their own personal health care decisions, governors’ races in November will be next. The DGA will continue holding Republicans accountable for their extreme agenda every step of the way.”
While Tuesday’s vote in Kansas grabbed plenty of national headlines, some Republican strategists suggest Democrats may be overplaying their hand on abortion and insist the issue won’t dominate November’s elections.
“What’s going to decide these elections are pocketbook economic issues, people’s safety, and the big thing that’s driving people’s vote in this election is their dissatisfaction with how Joe Biden’s running the country,” longtime Republican pollster Jim McLaughlin told Fox News.
McLaughlin, who conducted polling for former President Donald Trump’s 2016 and 2020 campaigns and who conducts the straw poll ballots for the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), emphasized that people are “seeing failures at the border, they’re seeing failures when it comes to the economy, they’re seeing failures when it comes to inflation, and they’re looking at what’s going on with the crime problem in the major cities right now, and voters want change.”
Veteran Republican strategist Brian Walsh noted that “midterm elections are fundamentally base elections where both parties are working to energize their core supporters,” and acknowledged that “to the extent the abortion issue fires up the Democratic base that will benefit them.”
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“But when you still have a president with an approval rating in the 30s, the economy on the brink of a recession and families grappling with record inflation and grocery store bills, it’s going to be hard for Democrats to make abortion the singular and defining issue in November,” Walsh, a National Republican Senatorial Committee veteran and a former top adviser to Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, said.
“The key for Republican candidates though will be to keep their campaigns laser-focused on the economy and to not hand Democrats additional ammunition that might divert voter attention from kitchen table economic issues,” he added.