Rise Of The GOP Attack Ads
January 4, 2016

The time is upon us good readers. With Iowa and New Hampshire just around the corner, Republicans are getting ready to unleash their Super PACs upon each other and as Jonathan Martin outlines this - it should be glorious indeed.

Supporters of Senator Marco Rubio, Senator Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee are poised to unleash a wave of ferocious attacks this month, according to Republicans familiar with their planning, plunging the muddled contest into a multidimensional war in the weeks leading up to the Feb. 1 Iowa caucuses.

“You’re going to see even sharper elbows” starting this week, said Jon Seaton, a Republican strategist not affiliated with any of the campaigns. “And by the middle of January, everybody will have their pads on and helmets buckled.”

By month’s end, the candidates and their allied groups could spend as much as $100 million combined, much of it on negative advertising delivered via television, radio, mailers and digital spots.

Poor Reince Priebus and the RNC are going to freak out because his plans this election cycle for Republicans not to attack each other has gone up in smoke. Reagan's thou shall not be mean to each other is gone.

Consultants are worried that if lower level candidates attack Trump, his supporters will move over to Cruz, so they are focusing on each other.

“That’s part of the reason why you saw Bush and Christie go after Rubio,” said Carl Forti, a Republican strategist not tied to any of the campaigns. “They don’t gain much from hitting Trump at this point. Cruz is the one who immediately benefits from a Trump downfall.”

New Hampshire is where it's going to get really interesting because Joe McQuaid's endorsement of Christie has given him hope in that state when he was a lifeless candidate.

But it is New Hampshire where the air war may be the most intense. The super PACs backing Mr. Bush and Mr. Kasich are already airing commercials there that gently criticize Mr. Christie (and, in the case of the pro-Bush group, Mr. Kasich as well). Mr. Rubio’s backers are likely to get in on the act in New Hampshire against Mr. Christie in January.

The super PAC backing Mr. Christie has nearly $7 million booked on broadcast outlets reaching New Hampshire voters, some of which has already been spent in the last month, and is prepared to go on the attack if it sees a threat.

And let us not forget Trump's ad buys have started up. I've read many stories trying to downplay the importance of Super PAC money since Jeb's had the most and gained the least, but it's because of this crazy money that candidates who should be out will stay around much longer.

My sister bought me a popcorn maker for Christmas. I think it's going to get quite a workout soon.

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