Well, the Senate Majority PAC is finally getting it right. They’ve unleashed a million dollar ad buy going after Thom Tillis on the issues popping up in the primary. In essence, they’ve offered Greg Brannon and Mark Harris a huge megaphone.
Harris and Brannon have both been attacking Tillis’ on “character” issues. In particular, they’ve accused him of turning a blind eye to sex scandals in his office and then, when they were discovered, giving his staffers large severance packages. Now, the Senate Majority PAC is echoing that charge.
It’s a smart move. Not only does it resonate with GOP primary voters, it begins to define Tillis in general. Nobody, regardless of party affiliation, wants a U.S. Senator with a hint of scandal following him, especially in the state that had to suffer through the John Edwards affair.
This ad, and the power of the buy behind it, makes a runoff even more likely. After more than $1 million in ads, Tillis still has not sealed the deal with GOP primary voters. Instead, he’s stuck with numbers in the mid 20s with about a third of the primary electorate undecided. Voters are obviously looking for an alternative to Tillis, and Harris and Brannon are just starting to communicate. The Speaker will have a tough time getting the votes necessary to reach the 40% and win outright in May.
The ad itself is solid. It manages to explain the two affairs, connect them to Tillis, highlight severance pay and close with “Thom Tillis: Spending our money to clean up his mess.” That’s a hard hit, especially for folks concerned about government spending. Corruption and hypocrisy, all in one juicy bite.