Emily’s List Throws Down, Van Hollen Answers

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The Senate primary ad war has heated up in the past day, with Emily’s List announcing that it intends to spend another $1 million on behalf of Donna Edwards.

A powerful super PAC supporting Rep. Donna F. Edwards’ campaign for Senate will invest another $1 million in advertising in the state, doubling down on a race that a series of recent polls have shown is a tossup.

A super PAC associated with Emily’s List, the Washington-based group that backs Democratic women candidates for office, will increase its overall investment for Edwards to about $2.4 million, spokeswoman Marcy Stech said.
“It’s clear that the more voters hear about Donna’s story, the more they understand that she has the much-needed perspective and experience to take on the tough fights for Maryland families,” Stech said in a statement.
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Van Hollen spokesman Bridgett Frey criticized the involvement of the “multi-million dollar super PAC” in the race, and said the group couldn’t stand the fact that The Washington Post, in its recent endorsement of Van Hollen, called him “a force for accomplishment and identified Donna Edwards as part of the problem in Washington.”

Edwards spokesman Benjamin Gerdes noted Emily’s List past support for Sen. Barbara Mikulski, whose seat the two are seeking, and said the campaign was proud to have the backing of women “who know that equal pay for equal work is more than just a talking point.”

Van Hollen, undaunted by the new artillery threat, responded in kind today.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen’s campaign for Senate is back on the air Wednesday with a new advertisement that comes after a series of polls show the race for Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski’s seat is a tossup.

The Montgomery County Democrat has purchased more than $34,000 in airtime on Baltimore broadcast television, according to contracts posted on the Federal Communications Commission website. That number likely does not reflect the extent of the campaign’s investment.

The ad is broadly similiar to an earlier introductory spot, but now notes that Van Hollen received the Washington Post’s endorsement over the weekend.  

Given Van Hollen’s fundraising advantage of over $3 million (and counting), will Emily’s List continue to go dollar for dollar in a duel with Van Hollen? We shall see. That’s a lot of money that could be spent in a series of critical general election campaigns that could decide control of the Senate. Is it worth it? Not in my book, but I’m not the one writing then checks.

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