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.

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