WASHINGTON — A super PAC for a progressive group is launching a multi-statewide effort to boost Democratic Senate candidates and push some of the candidates leftward on issues like the environment and Social Security.
The group, CREDO SuperPAC, also announced it will not put resources in Louisiana or Arkansas where vulnerable Democratic Senators Mary Landrieu and Mark Pryor "frequently vote against progressives," according to the group.
CREDO says it plans to have workers and volunteers in Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Colorado, and North Carolina in an effort dubbed "Save the Senate."
The case of North Carolina is an interesting one — the state's incumbent Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan supports approval of the Keystone pipeline, but CREDO President Becky Bond argued that Hagan had a far more progressive record than that of Landrieu or Pryor, thus earning the group's support.
"If you look at Kay Hagan's scores on the environment and other issues, you'll find that she's actually significantly better than a Mary Landrieu on issues that we care about," Bond said. "We want progressives to be able to make an impact in the Senate without having to support the worst Democrats."
Bond said that CREDO would be spending at least $500,000 per state. While that's not an overwhelming amount in contested races where millions of dollars will be spent, Bond argued that their intense focus on voter contact and get-out-the-vote efforts instead of television ads would give them a better return on investment.
Candidates like Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky, who is challenging minority leader Mitch McConnell, and Michelle Nunn in Georgia are running as moderate Democrats in red states. Bond said that a progressive turnout effort in those states might move the candidates on some issues.
"What we want to show is that progressives are an electoral force and that progressives are willing to hold politicians accountable who are fighting against us on issues we care about," she said. "We do believe that if we can show that progressives can be a strong electoral force on the ground and Democratic candidates aren't just looking to more conservative entities, then I believe that can move candidates to more progressive positions."