Democrats plan in the coming weeks to pounce on Republican Rep. Paul Ryan’s latest budget proposal, hoping it will be an issue to help them hold the Senate majority in 2014.
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Executive Director Guy Cecil and Democratic pollster Geoff Garin held a conference call with reporters on Monday morning to highlight the plan’s voucher-style replacement to Medicare and large spending cuts. They called the budget a “gift” for Democrats nationwide.
The DSCC, Cecil said, will target both Republican incumbents and potential candidates with social media campaigns and use email campaigns to energize Democratic donors and volunteers. Cecil described the upcoming effort as the “first in several steps” to yoke Republican candidates to the Ryan budget, which is expected to be unveiled Tuesday. Ryan gave a preview of the plan during an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”
Democrats believe the budget will also give them an opening to appeal to women and Latino voters, who care more about health care, education funding and college affordability. Cecil predicted that, like in 2012, Spanish-language advertising in 2014 would focus largely on education and health care.
On the other side of the aisle, Republicans hope to capitalize on the budget Senate Democrats will soon release. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), the budget committee chair tasked with drafting a plan, led the DSCC for the last two cycles and likely kept her colleagues re-election prospects in mind when doing so.
“House Democrats ran on this in 2010 and 2012 and yet Nancy Pelosi remains the Minority Leader,” Brad Dayspring, communications director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, wrote in an email to TPM responding to the DSCC’s plans. ”The reality is that Democratic incumbents in LA, AR, AK, NC, MT, and SD are going to have a hell of a time trying to explain why their only budget in four years raises taxes, spends even more money, and hurts Medicare. The first Senate Democrat budget in four years will hurt people across the country but help the powerful in Washington by giving them even more money to waste on their pet projects.”
Pema Levy is a News Writer at TPM covering the 2012 election. Before coming to TPM, Pema was an assistant editor at The American Prospect where she wrote about politics and the economy.