WASHINGTON -- Majority PAC, the Democratic super PAC backing U.S. Senate candidates, is dropping $8.4 million into nine races across the country. The investment follows the announcement by the Karl Rove-founded Crossroads GPS that it would be injecting $5 million into seven key Senate races.
The super PAC is targeting candidates in Arizona, Connecticut, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio and Virginia. The states include a number of races that were not on the map for either party at the beginning of the election cycle, including surprisingly close races in Arizona, Connecticut, Indiana and North Dakota.
"Majority PAC has been on the air in critical races all year, and we're extending our campaign to seats widely considered to be safe for Republicans at the beginning of the cycle," said Rebecca Lambe, a strategist for Majority PAC. "Democrats are all-in, and we will be aggressive in holding Republicans' feet to the fire."
Including this recent buy, Majority PAC has now spent $28.7 million hoping to backstop to the Democratic majority in the Senate.
The most popular subject in Majority PAC's nine state ad buy is women's issues including Planned Parenthood funding and money for mammograms and cancer screenings. Ads on these subjects are airing in media markets for three of the nine targeted races.
In Arizona, Majority PAC hits Republican candidate Rep. Jeff Flake for voting to deny Planned Parenthood funding. In Virginia, former Sen. George Allen, the Republican candidate, is knocked for supporting reduced access to mammograms and cancer screenings. And in Connecticut, the super PAC attacks Republican candidate Linda McMahon for opposing funding for both Planned Parenthood and mammograms and cancer screenings.
The second most popular subject in Majority PAC's slate of advertisements is some of the extreme positions taken by the candidates. Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock, who defeated incumbent Sen. Dick Lugar in the Republican primary, is knocked in a joint ad buy with the moderate Democratic group Center Forward for saying "it's time for confrontation," along with his views on eliminating the Department of Education. In Missouri, Rep. Todd Akin is blasted for his opposition to Social Security and student loans, as well as his infamous statement that women who are victims of "legitimate rape" have a biological protection against pregnancy.
The other three ads focus on candidate-specific issues, including Montana Republican candidate Rep. Denny Rehberg's previous job as a registered lobbyist and Ohio Treasurer and Republican candidate Josh Mandel's absence from 14 meetings of the state investment board since taking office. The only contrast ad run by Majority PAC is airing in North Dakota, with voters addressing the camera to explain why they like Democratic candidate Heidi Heitkamp and why they oppose Republican Rep. Rick Berg.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article incorrectly attributed a quote from Majority PAC strategist Rebecca Lambe to Majority PAC spokesman Zach Gorin.