Under the Dome

Democratic super PAC boosts Kay Hagan, targets Thom Tillis

A super PAC aligned with U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is attacking Republican Thom Tillis in a new TV ad – and Tillis is making the most of it.

The Senate Majority PAC is spending $750,000 on a 30-second spot defending Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan on the federal health care while attacking Tillis, one of five announced GOP candidates for her seat. (See the ad below.) The ad will run statewide for two weeks, PAC officials said.

The PAC is run by former staffers of the Nevada senator. It's the second pro-Hagan ad they've run in North Carolina, spending near $400,000 in November.

In the new ad, they defend Hagan's support of the Affordable Care Act, without ever referring to the act or its commonly known name, Obamacare. Instead, they tout her support of legislation that "forced insurance companies to cover cancer and other pre-existing conditions."

Tillis, it says, "sides with insurance companies." It’s a reference to Tillis’ opposition to the health care law.

Tillis’ campaign put a message on Twitter saying: "It is a badge of honor to be attacked by Harry Reid -- I'll work night and day to beat Kay Hagan and overthrow Reid's majority."

The ad is also an acknowledgment that Tillis is the front-runner in the GOP primary and the one Democrats think will win in May. And the big dollar buy recognizes that Hagan’s poll numbers are sinking amid the botched federal health care law roll out.

Tillis is using the new ad to raise money – just as Hagan did when outside groups spend similarly huge sums earlier this year to attack her.

"Clearly, North Carolina is ground zero in the effort to get rid of the liberal Reid majority that is keeping Obamacare in place and keeping our country on a path to fiscal disaster," he wrote in an email to supporters.