Need to Know: Senate Leadership Fund

ONE-ON-ONE — “POLITICO Pro Q&A: Senate Leadership Fund,” by Campaign Pro’s Theodoric Meyer:
“The fight for control of the Senate has become more prominent as the presidential primaries begin to wind down. That means a lot more attention for Senate Leadership Fund, the group formed to be the principal GOP Senate super PAC of 2016. Steven Law, the group’s president, and Carl Forti, the political director, have worked together for several election cycles in the same roles for American Crossroads and other groups in the Crossroads network — which are still active. But they felt that the political environment called for a Senate-specific group. They sat down with Campaign Pro to discuss that political environment, why they got involved in Indiana’s GOP Senate primary, and more.

— What is Senate Leadership Fund’s role in 2016? SL: When we started this election cycle back in January 2015, our focus was defending the Senate majority. Part of that was we had just helped win the Senate majority and felt like we didn’t want to let it go. Part of it was the magnitude of the challenge of holding onto that majority. And then other part of it was — particularly last January, our view was that it was just going to be a giant sucking sound of attention and resources to the presidential race. … We concluded that the presidential super PACs would absorb vast amounts of energy and attention and resources, and we ought to stay focused on our core competency.

— The 2014 Senate races were marked by a huge amount of early spending on attack ads against Democrats, which really destabilized some races. There has been less early spending this year, and more of it has focused on praising Republicans. Why is that? CF: The map is totally different. The goal this time is different. We’re talking about incumbents this time, not … a slate of challengers against Democratic incumbents. So I think that changes how we go about it and what we do.

— What needs to be done to protect vulnerable Republican senators from a potential anti-Donald Trump wave? SL: At least at this stage of the game, I dispute the premise…

Read more of the conversation here:

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