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Rep. Liz Cheney
Rep. Liz Cheney listens during a hearing for the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the Capitol in Washington, D.C. on July 27, 2021.Andrew Harnik / Bloomberg via Getty Images file

5 must-watch campaign ads from this week

Candidates and outside groups launched new Senate races, while two pro-impeachment Republicans hit the airwaves.

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Campaigns and outside groups continued to blanket the airwaves with ads this week, including in top Senate races and ahead of some upcoming primaries. 

Here are five ads that grabbed our attention: 

1. Inflation nation

One Nation, the non-profit arm of the GOP-aligned Senate Leadership Fund, continued its $5 million campaign against Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., this week. In a new ad, the group blames Kelly for voting in favor of a pandemic relief bill that the group says drove inflation.

“Senator Mark Kelly was the deciding vote for President Biden’s reckless spending that’s driven inflation through the roof,” a narrator in the ad says. 

This ad campaign is part of a broader effort by One Nation to blame incumbent Democratic senators for inflation and rising costs. The group, which doesn’t have to disclose its donors, also launched a $17 million campaign tying Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., to inflation. 

2. Meijer hits the airwaves 

Rep. Peter Meijer, R-Mich., released his first TV ad this week. The ad highlights his military service and legislative record in Congress.

“We want limited, effective government and that’s why I’m standing up to Joe Biden,” Meijer says in the ad.

He’s facing a tough primary challenge against John Gibbs, a candidate endorsed by former President Donald Trump. Meijer voted to impeach Trump following the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the Capitol.

3. Cheney keeps it local

GOP Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., was in the spotlight this week as she led hearings into the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. But back home, she was keeping the focus on a local issue as she gears up for her Aug. 16 primary race against Harriet Hageman, who has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump. 

Cheney’s latest ad features the widow of a wildland firefighter, describing how she worked on legislation with Cheney to boost firefighter pay and benefits.

4. Nevada Senate race heats up

With the state’s primaries now over, the Nevada Senate race has already gotten ugly with Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto and former state Attorney General Adam Laxalt, wasting no time to launch negative ads against each other. 

Cortez Masto is hitting Laxalt over his ties to the oil industry, while Laxalt is attacking Cortez Masto for her stances on immigration and crime.

Outside groups have also jumped into the fray. On Friday Senate Majority PAC launched an ad tying Laxalt to corporate donors and featuring a former Republican who says Laxalt just looks out for himself. 

5. Murray goes negative

In Washington, Democratic Sen. Patty Murray went negative this week, funding an ad against Republican Senate candidate Tiffany Smiley. In the ad, a narrator calls Smiley, “Mitch McConnell’s handpicked candidate for Senate,” and points out her views on abortion and the 2020 election, even playing a recording of Smiley identifying herself as “100% pro-life.” 

The narrator claims Smiley is, “risking our democracy” and points out Smiley’s campaign website, where she raises “serious questions” about the 2020 election.

Smiley has excited Republicans in Washington, raising over $4 million this cycle. But, Murray has raised over $11 million and the non-partisan Cook Political Report still rates this race as Solid Democrat.