John Bolton’s Super PAC announced on Friday that it will spend $5 million for online ads in three key Senate races starting immediately. “This ad buy includes three ads with 15 customized national security messages intended to sway distinct clusters of swing voters in NH, AR, and NC,” the former United Nations Ambassador and current Fox News Contributor told Breitbart News in an emailed statement.
The online buy that launched Friday will include ad placements at Google, Facebook, Twitter, Pandora, and other online channels.
All three Republican Senate candidates supported in this ad buy — Scott Brown in New Hampshire, Thom Tillis in North Carolina, and Tom Cotton in Arkansas — are in need of outside help less than two months before the election. Only Cotton leads his Democratic opponent in recent polls, and in his case that lead over incumbent Mark Pryor (D-AR) is somewhat tenuous, up from 2 points to 5 points in the latest poll.
While Brown’s campaign appears to be picking up momentum, he still trails incumbent Jean Shaheen (D-NH) anywhere from 2 to 11 points in New Hampshire, according to most of the recent polls, though he’s pulled into a tie, according to the latest CNN poll. In North Carolina, Thom Tillis’ campaign is moving in the opposite direction, as incumbent Kay Hagan (D-NC) has widened her lead to 5 points by hammering Tillis on two issues important to her far left base — funding for education and “the Republican war on women.”
Tillis continues to stumble, unable or unwilling to punch back on issues where Hagan has clearly misrepresented the facts. On education, for instance, her claims that Tillis has “cut education funding” as Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives are simply untrue. Tillis has, in fact, presided over a dramatic increase in education funding in that state over the past several years.
For Ambassador Bolton, an ardent critic of President Obama’s feckless foreign policy, it’s all about returning the Senate to Republican control.
“My primary goal is to get candidates who believe in strong national security policies elected to office. I’ve endorsed and made PAC contributions to 35 candidates for the House and Senate, and I’ve identified over 25 additional candidates whom I’m looking to support over the next seven weeks,” said Bolton.
Bolton has taken an innovative approach to getting his message out. Each web ad is tailored specifically to the national security interests of each state.
The ad buy includes three state specific versions of a web ad titled “America First,” one for Scott Brown in New Hampshire, a second for Tom Cotton in Arkansas, and a third for Thom Tillis in North Carolina.
The web ad begins with a narrator saying “President Obama is a better strategist for aiding ISIS than eliminating it.”
The narrator continues, saying, “Mr Obama said ‘If he had been an adviser to ISIS, he would not have killed the hostages but released them and pinned notes on their chests saying: Stay out of here; this is none of your business.’ “
Bolton then appears in the ad. “Why is the President speculating about advice to terrorists who are beheading American citizens? It should be no surprise his foreign policy is collapsing. America’s must make clear this November that they want a Senate that puts America first,” he says.
Bolton explains in each state specific ad why he’s supporting Brown/Cotton/Tillis and opposing Shaheen/Pryor/Hagan.
The buy will also include five additional distinctly customized ads for each of the three states.
A spokesperson said “[t]he John Bolton Super PAC has performed state-specific targeted research to customize the national security messages to distinct personality clusters in each state. No other national security or foreign policy PAC or Super PAC has performed such research to identify swing voters and customize messages.”
The ad buy, while innovative, represents some risk for Bolton personally and for the John Bolton Super PAC, which its spokespersons like to call “The Super PAC with a face,” as well.
The ads feature Bolton, delivering a clear and concise message. Unlike other Super PACS, which are more focused on issues, the message and the messenger for the John Bolton Super PAC are one and the same.
If the ads succeed in moving the needle towards the Republican candidate in each state, it will enhance Ambassador Bolton’s status as an effective spokesperson of Republican foreign policy. If they have little effect, as has been the case with many television ads run by other Super PACs this election cycle, it could tarnish Bolton’s reputation as the most forceful speaker of Republican foreign policy.
The choice to forego television and go online only, for the moment at least, with a buy this large is somewhat unusual. The John Bolton Super PAC, however, may be on to something by choosing the more individual and personal web ad over the more impersonal broadcast or cable television ad.