A new and powerful political action committee tied to Republican strategist Karl Rove, fueled by out-of-state corporations and billionaires, is swooping into Florida to put its money behind front-running U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio.
American Crossroads has spent nearly $250,000 so far on pro-Rubio mailings aimed at absentee voters, according to a report filed this week with the Federal Elections Commission.
A spokesman for American Crossroads said the group is prepared to spend more money in Florida if Rubio's lead slips. A CNN-Time Opinion Research poll released Wednesday found Rubio with 42 percent of the vote, Crist with 31 percent and Meek with 23 percent.
The pro-Rubio mailing features pictures of the Democratic establishment in Washington -- President Barack Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Reid -- and assails them for running up the federal deficit.
``Marco Rubio will get our economy moving forward again and rein in out-of-control spending in Washington, D.C.,'' it says.
The conservative group American Crossroads has re-upped its media buys in 6 key Senate races and has ventured into the Washington Senate contest for the first time, according to FEC filings.
In sum, American Crossroads and its nonprofit affiliate Crossroads GPS have spent another $3M on the Senate races in Florida, Colorado, Illinois, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Missouri and Washington.
The spending is entirely on airing new commercials with the exception of Florida, where American Crossroads appears to be sending $247K of direct mail in support of former House Speaker Marco Rubio (R).
The spending in Washington by Crossroads GPS shows Republicans still believe Sen. Patty Murray (D) is vulnerable. Recent polling has suggested that Murray is leading Republican challenger Dino Rossi, however, and the race has become a priority for Democrats as they try to build a firewall to prevent the GOP from winning a Senate majority this fall.
A full breakdown of the buys, from The Hotline's Independent Expenditure tracker, is after the jump.