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Democratic group launches ad blitz targeting senators opposed to SCOTUS nominee

A nonprofit group associated with a Democratic super PAC is launching a series of online video ads targeting several Republican senators up for reelection who are opposed to considering Merrick Garland for the open Supreme Court seat.

"Senator Ayotte is at it again: putting Washington politics over people, refusing to vote on the Supreme Court nominee, ignoring New Hampshire and the Constitution. We need the senator to do her job. Tell Senator Ayotte, 'Enough, do your job,'" the narrator of the ad that will run in New Hampshire says.

The group Majority Forward launched the digital advertising campaign Thursday, which calls on Ayotte and four other senators to vote on Garland's nomination. The other 15-second ads target Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and several vulnerable Republicans facing competitive reelection races: Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Rob Portman of Ohio and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin. Below is the ad targeting McConnell.

Majority Forward is an allied group of Senate Majority PAC, which is a Democratic super PAC fighting to retake control of the Senate in this election. Marc Elias, a partner at Perkins Cole, incorporated the super PAC last June. Elias currently serves as general counsel to Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

The ads, which cost about $350,000, will run on certain websites as well on social media including YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.

This comes only a day after Garland met with Ayotte in addition to several Democratic senators. Ayotte said she had a "cordial" meeting with him, but reiterated that she would like to wait for the outcome of this year's presidential election before considering a Supreme Court nominee.

"I also explained my view that, given we are in the midst of a vigorous presidential election, I believe the people should have a voice on this important nomination. I continue to believe the confirmation process should wait until the people have spoken in November," she said in a statement.

Garland is scheduled to meet Thursday with Portman as well as Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona and several other Democratic senators. Earlier this week, he met with Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa.

Republicans have maintained since February that they won't hold any hearings or confirmation votes to consider Garland before the general election.

A CBS News poll from March found that a majority of people, 53 percent, in the U.S. think the Senate should hold a vote on Garland and 42 percent said it should wait for the next president to nominate someone.

President Obama nominated Garland last month to the seat left vacant by the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

Garland, 63, has served as the chief judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia for the last three years. He has served on the D.C. appellate court since 1997, when he was nominated to the bench by former President Bill Clinton. He was confirmed by the Senate in a 76-23 vote, which included seven Republicans, who still serve in the Senate, who voted in favor.

  • Rebecca Shabad

    Rebecca Shabad is a video reporter for CBS News Digital.