Democrats Stay on Sidelines as Right Wing Groups Attack Landrieu with Runoff Ads

Outside Groups Spent $2.5 million Opposing the Democrat Since Election Day

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Democrats have left U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu on her own to fight an onslaught of super PAC money flowing into Louisiana ahead of a runoff election. Outside groups have spent $2.5 million on ads opposing the senior senator since after election day, Nov. 4. The biggest anti-Landrieu spenders in the runoff are non-partisan group Ending Spending Action, the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action and Koch Brothers-linked Americans for Prosperity.

Missing thus far from Louisiana runoff spending is Crossroads GPS, the group affiliated with Karl Rove, which says it spent $2.1 million in the state in October in hopes of defeating Ms. Landrieu; the senator is up against Republican Bill Cassidy in the Dec. 6 runoff.

While Crossroads has not spent a dime in the runoff, the group has not ruled out contributing to the Landrieu pile-on. "We're monitoring it closely," said Paul Lindsay, communications director for American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, of the Louisiana race. "There's three weeks left in the election and we've spent significantly up until this point."

According to an Ad Age analysis of Federal Election Commission data, 13 outside groups made independent expenditures of a collective $2.5 million on direct mail, TV and radio spots, digital ads, email and phone calls to voters since Nov. 5 with the aim of defeating Ms. Landrieu. Both candidates aim to score points with voters as supporters of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline -- a potential job creator -- which the Senate is set to vote on today.

Americans for Prosperity has used online ads and direct mail to push its "Fire Landrieu" message. The group has attempted to connect the senator with Obamacare, a tactic employed by many Republicans and right-wing groups during the midterms. The group has spent around $461,000 on ads to influence voters in the runoff.

Meanwhile, NRA offshoot NRA-ILA on Nov. 16 spent nearly $600,000 on TV ads opposing Ms. Landrieu, according to FEC data. In all, the gun rights group has spent more than $687,000 on ads in the runoff.

So far, though, a self-described non-partisan PAC is leading ad spending against Ms. Landrieu. Ending Spending Action Fund spent over $780,000 last week on media and media production to oppose the senator.

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