Rep. Heath Shuler is facing a new challenge, as news emerged in the Washington Examiner that Americans for Job Security, a conservative, “pro-business” non-profit, is putting $712,000 into advertising opposing the two-term Democratic congressman.
The Examiner report, on three Democratic representatives the group is targeting with ad buys, notes that they’re spending “$712,000 against Rep. Heath Shuler, D-N.C., a two-term Democrat in Asheville (NC-11) whom most people do not believe is terribly vulnerable this year. But with that kind of money-tide flowing against him, who knows? Just a few cycles ago, that was enough to fund a winning House campaign. In some districts—including his—it still is.”
Americans for Job Security, based in Alexandria, Va., declares on its website that it “is the only independent, bi-partisan, pro-business issue advocacy organization in America.” However, the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics dubs it a “pro-Republican, pro-business organization… established to directly counter labor’s influence” in a 2004 report.
Polls in the race between Shuler and the Republican nominee, Hendersonville businessman Jeff Miller, have mostly been conducted by partisan groups, and given varying results. The political forecasting site FiveThirtyEight currently predicts that Shuler will win a fairly close race by about 51 to 47 percent. It rates the race as “takeover possible” for the GOP, estimating about a 32 percent chance of the 11th district changing hands.
— David Forbes, senior news reporter