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Friday, December 9, 2016

The National Republican Senatorial Committee is on air with its first ad of the 2014 election cycle, a “Duck Hunt”-themed spot attacking Senator Mary Landrieu (R-LA).

The ad, which premiered in the New Orleans media market during the season premiere of the hit A&E show Duck Dynasty, accuses Landrieu of “bad aim” on health care, energy, taxes, and jobs.

In a Wednesday evening email to The New Orleans Times-Picayune, Senator Landrieu’s campaign director, Adam Sullivan, responded to the ad.

“This ad is a total quack. It is a desperate, misleading attempt by the NRSC, which hopes it will help them duck the fact that Mary Landrieu has spent her entire time in the Senate fighting and winning for Louisiana,” Sullivan said.

“It was her bill, GOMESA, that opened up 8.3 million acres in the Gulf for domestic drilling, established revenue sharing for Louisiana to restore its coast and created good-paying energy jobs,” he added. “And, unlike others in this race, Sen. Landrieu voted last January to provide permanent tax relief to Louisiana’s middle-class families.”

The NRSC’s decision to air an ad attacking Landrieu more than 15 months before Election Day underscores Louisiana’s importance to the Republican Party’s plans to win a majority in the U.S. Senate. The GOP would need to win a net of six seats to gain the majority; with Democrats showing unexpectedly strong numbers in Kentucky, Georgia, and North Carolina, the Louisiana race looks like a must-win for the GOP. Early polling of the race shows Landrieu with a very narrow lead over her likely opponent, U.S. Representative Bill Cassidy (R-LA).

The use of “Duck Hunt” to attack Landrieu may be a subtle jab at her vote in favor of the doomed Manchin-Toomey bill to expand background checks; were that the case, however, it’s unclear how effective the tactic would be. According to a Public Policy Polling survey, Landrieu’s gun reform vote actually improved her standing among Louisiana voters.

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