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Screenshot: Loeffler campaign ad

Sen. Kelly Loeffler's (R-Ga.) re-election campaign is trying to come from behind by tying her top competitor, Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), to Democrat Stacey Abrams, who has been floated as Joe Biden's potential running mate, in a new six-figure ad campaign.

Why it matters: While Abrams is a popular figure among Democrats nationally as well as in Georgia, Loeffler is betting Abrams will be a lightning rod for the Republican contest.

The new ad, which labels Collins as a "fake conservative," is the first negative ad Loeffler's campaign has launched against Collins. Loeffler campaign spokesperson Stephen Lawson told Axios that it is "a precursor of things to come."

  • "I think you'll see a steady barrage of attacks over the coming weeks and months highlighting his failed record as a career politician and fake conservative with ties to liberal Democrats like Stacey Abrams," Lawson said.
  • The ad will run statewide on multiple advertising channels including Verizon, Facebook, and YouTube.

The big picture: Loeffler, who Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp appointed in December to fill former Sen. Johnny Isakson's seat, faces an uphill re-election fight against Collins, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee during impeachment and a loyal defender of President Trump.

  • Recent polling shows Loeffler trailing Collins by wide margins.
  • Loeffler has recently faced intense backlash for purchasing and selling roughly $1.4 million in stock just before the market crashed in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Last month, Loeffler's campaign announced that she and her husband Jeffrey Sprecher — the CEO of Intercontinental Exchange, which owns the New York Stock Exchange — were liquidating their stock portfolio in response to the uproar.
  • Collins has criticized Loeffler for "profiting" off the pandemic.

Go deeper

Aug 24, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump campaign launches massive digital ad buy for convention week

Screengrab from Trump campaign ad

The Trump campaign is going all in on digital advertising for the Republican National Convention, with plans to again take over the YouTube masthead and flood Facebook, Google and streaming services like Hulu with pro-Trump messaging.

The big picture: The massive digital ad buy — which is in the high seven figures, according to the campaign — will complement the Trumpian production planned for each night of the convention this week.

Updated 5 hours ago - Sports

The potential GOAT of chess faces intriguing challenger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The World Chess Championship between Norway's Magnus Carlsen and Russia's Ian Nepomniachtchi began on Friday, 1,094 days after Carlsen won his fourth consecutive title.

Why it matters: During the long, COVID-fueled layoff, chess entered a new era, and with the championship finally here, the age-old game is ready for its close-up.

Department of Interior proposes raising cost of drilling on public lands

A horizontal drilling rig and a pump jack sit on federal land in Lea County, New Mexico. Photo: Callaghan O'Hare/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Oil and gas companies should pay more to drill on federal lands and waters, the Department of the Interior argued in a report released Friday, saying that the current rates were "outdated."

Driving the news: The Department of Interior report said that the federal government's oil and gas leasing and permitting program "fails to provide a fair return to taxpayers, even before factoring in the resulting climate-related costs that must be borne by taxpayers."