Democrats to Use GOP Tactics in Key Senate Race

CHARLOTTE, N.C. ( TheStreet) -- Democrats say they're treating Republican Senate candidate George Allen like an incumbent, and plan on using GOP tactics to beat the politician: slam him on the debt, deficit, budget and spending.

The catch is that Democrats would use this attack only in Allen's race against Democratic candidate Tim Kaine, who spoke Tuesday night at the Democratic National Convention.

"We plan on drawing a very sharp contrast, and I think if you look at the third-party ads, particularly on the Democratic side, we are not afraid to draw the contrast on debt, deficit, budget and spending in the comparison between Tim Kaine and George Allen," said Guy Cecil, executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Allen lost as an incumbent during the 2006 mid-term elections to Jim Webb -- who decided in February 2011 to vacate his seat -- after Allen made a bizarre racial slur. Allen's loss came when Democrats grabbed sweeping victories in the House and Senate to take control of Congress.

Allen's record during his one term from 2001 through 2007 is what Democrats are going to use against him.

Cecil said Allen voted to raise the debt ceiling and backed a significant amount of earmarks. The executive director added that the federal deficit went up during Allen's tenure, and noted that the former senator has admitted he could have done a better job handling the debt and deficit.

The strategy is similar to broad Republicans attacks that the national debt has doubled since Obama took office.

The GOP blasted out multiple emails on Tuesday that that country's debt had officially topped $16 trillion.

"This is a serious threat to our economy. Of all the broken promises from President Obama, this is probably the worst one because this debt is threatening jobs today," Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan said in a statement.

The move may seem like one that could backfire against Kaine -- the former Virginia governor -- but Cecil said Senate races are fundamentally different from House campaigns. He said House races have less of a capacity to separate from the dynamics of the national conversation, whether during mid-term or presidential seasons.

"Again I go back to the hypothesis that Senate races are more about the two candidates on the ballot," said Cecil.

So while voters may not hear Democratic criticisms of Republican opponents in the presidential race, House races and most of the Senate campaigns, it appears the tactic will be crucial to Virginia's senate race.

An average of polls collected by RealClearPolitics shows Kaine with a 0.6 percentage-point lead on Allen. A successful move to paint Allen as a Bush-era spending conservative could launch the former governor into a Senate position and retain the seat for Democrats.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in Charlotte, N.C.

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