The four-term congressman, who declared on Wednesday that he would oppose newly-elected Sen. Kelly Loeffler in a special election this year, will come under fire from the Club for Growth.
The right-wing Club for Growth intends to start a significant attack campaign against Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), adding gasoline to the intraparty conflict that began after the GOP congressman announced his candidacy for the Senate this week.
Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) was sworn in this month to replace Sen. Johnny Isakson, who resigned due to health reasons, and Collins declared on Wednesday that he will run against Loeffler. Collins is a close ally of President Trump, but several Republicans were upset by his choice to run for the Senate and expressed concern that it may threaten their ability to hold onto the seat and create issues elsewhere on the Senate map.
As Collins prepares for his statewide bid, The Club for Growth is the first organization to start an advertising campaign aimed at damaging Collins’ reputation. Beginning the following week, the anti-tax group intends to spend $3 million on TV with issue-based advertisements criticizing Collins’ track record. The duration of the journey will be five weeks, according to information provided to POLITICO first. The intended commercials’ content wasn’t yet ready.
The Club for Growth’s president, David McIntosh, stated in a statement, “Over the next month, Club for Growth will inform Georgia voters about Doug Collins’ record on economic issues and urge that he change his ways.”
The Club openly criticized even though Collins for receiving a 57 percent on their legislative scorecard last year, despite the fact that he has an 80 percent career score with the Club, prompting a flurry of advertising.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee, several important Republican leadership allies, including a super PAC affiliated with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, joined the Club in supporting Loeffler and denouncing Collins’ bid as a self-serving action that was bad for the party.
When Collins declared his candidacy in an interview on “Fox and Friends” on Wednesday morning, he responded to the NRSC response on Twitter and dismissed any worries about causing an internal party division.
Collins declared, “I believe we fought for the president, we battled for our state, and we fought for this country. “And we’ll keep acting in that manner. I’m looking forward to this election and a fruitful exchange of views.
While Loeffler has a lot of support from Senate Republicans, Collins’ campaign is showing some strong indicators. According to an internal survey taken in December, he had a large advantage among Republican voters and was ahead of Loeffler by 21 percentage points in the all-party contest in November. Additionally, he had a favorable reputation among all voters in the state as well as among Trump supporters, the poll found.
In order to improve Loeffler’s image, her campaign has since spent or reserved $2.6 million on Georgian television.
Some state lawmakers and well-known conservatives have also backed Collins, including radio presenter Mark Levin and administration-friendly lobbyist Matt Schlapp, who both tweeted their support for Collins after his decision.
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