Trailing his Democratic challenger by as many as 13 points in the latest polls, Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson is now witnessing shrinking support from two key conservative groups, which previously vowed to fully support him financially.
According to the RealClear Politics average, Johnson lags former senator Russ Feingold by just under 10 percent, 50 to 40.7.
Originally scheduled to receive National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) funds for airtime in August, the NRSC has apparently re-scheduled for October. NRSC is said to have $1 million for its October blitz, but also reserved the right to cancel should Johnson remain behind Feingold.
Similarly, the conservative group Freedom Partners has nixed $2.3 million in airtime originally slated for Johnson in August.
Explaining its decision, Freedom Partners spokesman James Davis said:
“We are aligning our television advertising strategy to ensure maximum impact across key Senate races. We will continue to direct citizen outreach through our grassroots activities, volunteer phone calls, digital media and direct mail.”
Suggesting it was a strategy to compete with Democratic spending in favor of Feingold, NRSC spokeswoman Alleigh Marre said the Senate committee was adjusting its ad buys to “mirror” airtime scheduled by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
Feingold, a three-term Democrat from Middleton, Wisconsin, was unseated by Johnson in 2010 — the latter largely self-funding his campaign.
Previous to being elected to the Senate, Johnson was CEO of PACUR LLC, a polyester and plastics manufacturing company.
[The Hill] [RealClear Politics] [freedompartners.org] [Photo courtesy Susan Walsh/AP via NewsMax]