Democrats set to unload $91 million in attacks on Donald Trump

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump points to supporters following his speech at the Charleston Civic Center in West Virginia on Thursday. Mark Lyons/Getty Images

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump points to supporters following his speech at the Charleston Civic Center in West Virginia on Thursday. Mark Lyons/Getty Images

In polls, Donald Trump’s image among minorities and women is dismal. Now that he’s the GOP standard-bearer, Democrats are about to unleash an avalanche of TV and Internet attacks – just to make sure that image doesn’t change.

Billionaire though he may be, Trump doesn’t have the cash on hand to counter the coming punch. From the Associated Press:  logo-all

Priorities USA, the lead super PAC backing Hillary Clinton, has already reserved $91 million in television advertising that will start next month and continue through Election Day. In addition, Clinton’s campaign and Priorities USA have both debuted online videos that cast Trump in a negative light — a preview of what voters will see on TV over the next six months.

So far, Priorities USA is the only group on either side that has rolled out such an ambitious advertising plan geared toward the general election. The group’s leaders say they’re trying to avoid what they see as the core mistake made by Trump’s Republican rivals — not pushing hard enough against him until it was too late.

“There’s a reason that we have a head start,” said Justin Barasky, a Priorities USA spokesman, “and it’s that we’ve taken Donald Trump seriously all along, unlike the Republicans.”

The group’s ad strategy will test what has been a hallmark of Trump’s GOP primary rise: his ability to withstand — even thrive in the face of — tens of millions of dollars in attack ads.

An Associated Press review of Priorities USA’s TV buys, collected by Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group, reveals a formidable 22-week advertising blitz through what the group considers key battleground states: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio and Virginia….

The week of the election, Priorities USA plans to spend about $8 million in the seven battleground states.

The heaviest concentration is in Florida, where the group has reserved $23 million in time, mostly in Orlando and in Tampa.

The group also plans to spend about $19.5 million in the traditional presidential bellwether state of Ohio. More than half is for Cleveland, Akron and Columbus.

There’s no substantive GOP counterweight to the pro-Clinton effort — partly because Trump has repeatedly trashed big donors and called the outside groups that can raise unlimited money from them “corrupt.”

As the presumptive GOP nominee, Trump is now beginning his outreach to donors. But even if he fully embraces outside help, he’s far behind: One super PAC backing him, Great America, was almost $700,000 in debt at the end of March.

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More than one or two of those TV ads Democrats will launch against Donald Trump could resemble a famous, four-minute spot used against Republican Barry Goldwater in the 1964 presidential contest.

The semi-extemporaneous ad below featured William Bogert, a character actor, and was aimed at northern Republicans uncomfortable with what was seen as Goldwater’s willingness to embrace nuclear war – and the GOP candidate’s endorsement by an Alabama leader of the Ku Klux Klan.

You can see the parallels that Democrats might want to draw in 2016. One of your Insiders will be discussing this ad with Bill Nigut on GPB’s “Political Rewind” at 3 p.m. today. (That’s 88.5 FM in Atlanta.) So study up:

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Georgia Democrats are attempting to do their part, by tying the new GOP standard-bearer. Noting our Thursday piece about Republican statewide officials closing ranks around the billionaire, state Democratic party chair DuBose Porter expressed horror at the “shocking embrace” of Donald Trump. Said Porter:

“Donald Trump may be the most dangerous presidential candidate of our lifetime and the ruling class of the Georgia GOP seems perfectly fine with the impending chaos of a potential—yet improbable—Trump presidency. How on Earth could Johnny Isakson, David Perdue and the rest of that crew trust a volatile, divisive figure to lead the greatest armed forces in the World? How can they sleep at night with the looming prospect of Donald Trump being in possession of nuclear codes?”

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On Thursday, we received a note from Alan Abramowitz, the Emory University political scientist and prognosticator that had this in the subject line: “Almost none of the experts gave Donald Trump a chance.”

Click, and you saw the word “Except.” And this URL link.

It’s a Nov. 25, 2015 clip from CNN, in which Abramowitz says Donald Trump could indeed win the Republican nomination for president. That one’s going to go on the resume.

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On Thursday, Gov. Nathan Deal ordered flags lowered to  half staff, in honor of Donnell Phelps, the Fort Valley State University student killed while coming to the aid of three women.

From the Macon Telegraph:

Phelps’ accused killer, Joseph Anthony Scott, allegedly was trying to grope three women coming out of the campus cafeteria late Tuesday afternoon.

Phelps intervened and was fatally stabbed before Scott allegedly attacked campus public safety officer Ernest Johnson of Macon, who was stabbed seven times.

The incident occurred Tuesday, the same day that Governor Deal vetoed the “campus carry” bill. On Wednesday, Phelp’s murder became part of the political blowback generated by the National Rifle Association. From the press release:

“The tragic death of this young college student illustrates the point that criminals can strike anywhere, anytime, and do not respect ‘gun-free zones,’” said Catherine Mortensen, NRA Spokesperson. “This is exactly the reason the National Rifle Association is working so hard to change the laws in Georgia to allow law-abiding gun owners with concealed carry permits to carry on campus. College students should have the same right to defend and protect themselves on-campus as they have off-campus.”

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Republican challenger Aaron Barlow has put out a mailer damning state Sen. Brandon Beach, R-Alpharetta, for his bill that would have allowed MARTA rail to expand into north Fulton County. (SB 330 failed, but a less ambition version, restricted to the city of Atlanta, passed.)

We know about the mailer, because a reader thought we’d get a chuckle out of the faux headlines, attributed – no less than four times – to the “Atlanta Jounral-Constitution.”

But what caught our eye was this headline, and another like it:

milton

The above isn’t a reference to the city of Milton. Senate District 21 includes three-quarters of Alpharetta as well. Apparently, in the parlance of a Republican primary, the demand for secession and a separate Milton County – the issue has languished in the state Capitol – is so strong that it is now unacceptable to use the phrase “north Fulton.”


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