Super PAC spending more than $1 million backing Democratic challenger to Ernst
Posted February 24, 2020 11:31 a.m. EST
CNN — A Democratic Super PAC will air its first ad on Tuesday to boost the campaign of Theresa Greenfield in her race against Iowa GOP Sen. Joni Ernst, introducing her to voters as a businesswoman who grew up on a family farm, worked part-time jobs to get through college and raised two boys as a single mom.
"All of it makes Theresa tough enough to take on Washington's corruption and deliver for Iowa," says the ad's narrator.
The seven-figure TV and digital ad by the Senate Majority PAC, a group aligned with Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, is a clear indicator that national Democratic groups are behind Greenfield and are willing to spend money in Iowa, even though other Senate races might prove to be better pick-up opportunities. In the primary, Greenfield faces Democrats Eddie Mauro, Michael Franken and Kimberly Graham, but she's received the support of a number of powerful liberal groups and local officials, and has raised by far the most money. The Senate Democratic campaign arm endorsed Greenfield back in June.
Democrats need to win the White House and gain three seats to gain control of the Senate. But it may be harder for Democrats to beat Ernst than other Republican incumbents in Colorado, Maine, Arizona and North Carolina, who serve states where President Donald Trump has been less popular.
Rachel Irwin, a spokesperson for Senate Majority PAC, said in a statement that Ernst "becomes more vulnerable by the day" while Iowans are "energized by Theresa's story and her grit."
Brook Ramlet, a senior adviser for the Ernst campaign, called Greenfield "a complete political hypocrite" for pledging to not accept corporate PAC money, while her campaign publicly releases material that a Super PAC can then use to create ads on her behalf without such restrictions. Ramlet said Greenfield "should call on Schumer's PAC to stay out of the race."