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 Sen. Mark Begich, chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and the Coast Guard, speaks during the testimony of U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Robert J. Papp Jr., commandant of the Coast Guard, at a
Begich remains unfazed by Koch barrage against him.
While the Koch brothers are pissing away millions in very early attack ads against Senate Democrats, those Democrats are mostly holding their fire.
But many of the most endangered Democratic incumbents have decided it’s better to wait out the barrage than to respond in-kind.

They’re gambling that it makes far more sense to build a sizable war chest and hold off until closer to the election to engage their opponents in an expensive TV war. The idea: Absorb the ads from the conservative group Americans for Prosperity now and hope some help from their Democratic allies, like the Senate Majority PAC, helps to keep their races competitive. Then, when the time comes, unleash a flurry of attacks that will give them a late bounce and potentially victory come November.

The Democrats’ strategy carries obvious downsides. With the conservative Americans for Prosperity dumping a staggering amount of cash into Senate races early in the cycle, Democrats risk being defined as apologists for President Barack Obama and his health care law before they’ve defined themselves to undecided voters.

It's not a bad strategy. For one thing, the Koch barrage has started so early and has been so ubiquitous voters are eventually going to just tune them out, if they haven't already. Sure, the Republicans base will love them, but it can't be more motivated than it already is. Vicious ad campaigns starting months and months before an election won't grow that base. Particularly when the primary issue is Obamacare and the majority of voters doesn't want to hear about it anymore. As 2012 taught us, spending a gajillion dollars against Democrats doesn't work when you've got flawed candidates who are far, far out of the mainstream.

And as far as the supposed downside of Obamacare goes, Sen. Mark Begich (AK) has an answer for that in his fantastic new ad that says exactly what his vote for Obamacare means in the words of cancer survivor and Alaskan Lisa Keller: "I now have health insurance again, because of Mark Begich. Because he fought the insurance companies so that we no longer have to." All the money in the Kochs' coffers can't defeat that message.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 10:29 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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