Democrats spent tens of millions of dollars last year on nearly 100 different commercials that similarly linked Republican candidates with Charles and David Koch. Majority Leader Harry Reid, who regularly railed against the brothers on the Senate floor, liked to say that the GOP was “addicted to Koch.” When Reid became the minority leader, some questioned the wisdomof this line of attack.
But leading Democratic strategists insist that correlation is not causation: just because they ran lots of ads tying Republicans to special interests and then lost does not mean it’s an ineffective attack. In fact, they believe that tying Scott Brown to the Koch’s was integral to his narrow loss against Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in the Granite State. They point to several differentsurveys that show the charge is potent, especially when it comes togalvanizing the Democratic base.
With the Koch network aiming to spend $889 million in advance of the next election, Democrats promise they will only amplify their criticism of the brothers. Another outside group, American Bridge 21st Century,announced plans earlier this summer to spend heavily on efforts linking the presidential candidates with the Koch’s. We’ll monitor polling to see whether the new ad moves numbers.