The Hill's Alexandra Jaffe reports on a hard-hitting new shutdown-themed ad campaign from the Democratic aligned House Majority PAC. The goal of this campaign is straightforward: attach embattled Colorado GOP incumbent Rep. Mike Coffman's face and name indelibly to the enormously unpopular shutdown of the federal government presently dominating the headlines.
House Majority PAC, the super-PAC focused on electing Democrats to the House, is launching a wide-ranging multimedia ad campaign hitting all of its top nine Republican targets on the government shutdown…
The super-PAC is targeting Reps. Coffman, Heck, Joyce and Southerland with individually tailored television and Web ads accusing them each of playing "games" with Americans for their role in the shutdown.
…Democrats believe the shutdown will ultimately be a political winner for them, bolstered by polls that show Americans largely blame Republicans. House Majority PAC joins the two central party committees in attacking Republicans for it and labeling it as the "GOP shutdown."
"This harmful and unnecessary government shutdown is a result of House Republicans’ complete embrace of the extremist, Tea Party mentality and their abject failure to pursue a reasonable course that would have prevented a shutdown and the economic damage it’s wreaking all across the country,” said Andy Stone, communications director for House Majority PAC.
That Coffman is getting an even higher degree of attention than most of the nine Republicans on House Majority PAC's list is another indicator of the marquee national importance of the CD-6 race going into 2014. In a district remade out from under the formerly safe-seat Coffman into a culturally and economically diverse battleground, and this time with a strong Democrat opponent to challenge him, the stage is set for the grandest congressional fight in Colorado since Bob Beauprez battled it out with Mike Feeley to win the closest race in the nation in 2002.
The latest press reports have Coffman still rejecting a "clean" continuing resolution to resume funding government operations without the added demands from Republicans to gut the 2010 Affordable Care Act health care reforms. However, that increasingly appears to be the only way out of a standoff that the GOP apparently initiated without a viable exit strategy.
The lopsided polling showing major political damage ahead for whoever the public ends up blaming for the shutdown reveals a wide open opportunity for Democrats to deal a severe blow to Republican credibility ahead of the next election. Those same polls show that, despite a full-court press campaign to shift the blame away from Republicans for the shutdown which has admittedly softened numbers by a few points, voters are still set to blame them by a large plurality. For every bad thing they read about the shutdown, every personal inconvenience they suffer or hear about from friends and neighbors. If, in CD-6, voters come to associate Coffman's face with all of the negative consequences of the shutdown–especially as it persists and the effects worsen–this could be a lasting, even decisive, gift to Democrats in this race.