Time for the Big Guns: What Are GOP SuperPACs Waiting for in Georgia?
The donation comes in on the coattails of vicious barbs from the National Rifle Association connecting Nunn to Bloomberg’s anti-gun rhetoric. The conservative organization spent $780,000 on a television ad to run in Augusta, Macon and Savannah. This also trails a series of ads paid for by the Ending Spending Action Fund linking Nunn to Harry Reid, Obama, and even Ebola. Together, the Ending Spending Action Fund and its counterpart, Ending Spending, Inc., have spent nearly $2 million in attack ads against Nunn.
Yet big names in the lobbying world like George Soros and the Koch brothers have been mysteriously absent in this close race. Tom Steyer’s $16 million donation this month to the NextGen Climate Action committee went to Senate races in Michigan, Iowa, New Hampshire and Colorado. Liberal environmental group the Sierra Club is listed on OpenSecrets.org as having only contributed $10 to the Nunn campaign as of Oct. 15.
The Koch brothers’ super PAC, the Freedom Partners Action Fund, has spent more than $25 million this year to help GOP candidates in the Senate race. But so far the PAC has ignored Georgia, focusing instead on the six seats Republicans are looking to pick up—in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire, and North Carolina—rather than the three seats it may lose in Georgia, Kansas, and Kentucky.
Sure, the numbers tell us that conservative organizations have spent more money on the whole in Georgia’s Senate race, but the polls tell us that hasn’t been enough to push out support for Nunn. So when is that last big push? Where was the October surprise we were all waiting for? Why haven’t the big guns come out yet?
Bring out the big guns
OpenSecrets.org reports show that outside organizations have spent more than $10 million against Nunn – a sharp contrast to the $2.5 million liberal-leaning groups have spent to attack Perdue. Nunn’s campaign seems to be doing a good enough job with that already.
Recent attack ads from Dems, in particular, have been brutal and plentiful. Democrats paid for several fliers to entice African-American voters to “prevent another Ferguson” by voting. Perdue responded in an interview that he found it “disappointing” to see such “divisive” tactics being used.
The newest release from the Nunn campaign is an extended television ad painting Perdue as a job-killer that mimics ads Obama used against Mitt Romney in 2012. Usually we see these vicious ads, referred to as “sniper ads,” from candidates who are falling behind in the polls and in funding. Yet Nunn’s campaign has held strong throughout the race, keeping the polls very tight and leading in campaign funds by more than $2 million.
The question remains: If Georgia is so close and key to gaining the Senate, why haven’t Republicans met fire with bonfire?