by Jeff Singer of Daily Kos Elections
With Donald Trump’s numbers in the gutter nationwide, the well-funded pro-Hillary Clinton super PAC, Priorities USA, can devote some of its resources to ensuring that Clinton gets to work with a Democratic majority in the Senate. The PAC is attacking Republican senate candidates for being aligned with Trump. Last week, several media organizations reported that Priorities was readying ads in key Senate contests, and on Tuesday, they confirmed it. Priorities says that they’ll launch commercials in New Hampshire and Pennsylvania tying Sens. Kelly Ayotte and Pat Toomey to Trump. The group did not say how much they’ll spend in each state, or if they plan to get involved in any other Senate races.
Polls show that while both Ayotte and Toomey are in tight races, they’re still doing much better than Trump in their states. However, a recent DSCC poll argued that, when voters are informed that their GOP Senate candidate used to back Trump but only recently withdrew their support, Team Red lost critical support. Ayotte infamously spent most of the campaign saying she was voting for Trump, and only dumped him after his “grab women” video surfaced; Toomey continues to be evasive about who he plans to vote for in the presidential race.
Both Republicans are absolutely aware that if too many voters associate them with The Donald, they’re in trouble. Toomey recently launched a strange ad where he halfheartedly noted that he has “a lot of disagreements with Donald Trump,” though he didn’t provide any actual examples. Ayotte and Toomey’s Democratic foes, Maggie Hassan and Katie McGinty, have been airing their own ads tethering the two senators to Trump. Priorities has run some of the most effective commercials of the cycle that used Trump’s own words against him. If they can use Trump’s many awful comments to drag down Ayotte and Toomey, Democrats will have a lot to smile about on election night.