Politico reports that the National Republican Senatorial Committee "already has its eyes on Democrats up in 2012 — and plans to bombard Democrats who sit on the Finance Committee with attacks on their votes on controversial amendments during the committee deliberations beginning Tuesday.
"Its top 2012 targets on the Committee: (Florida Sen. Bill) Nelson and (North Dakota Sen. Kent) Conrad, as well as Democratic Sens. Maria Cantwell of Washington and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan.
The site notes Nelson, along with Conrad, has already hit the $1 million fund raising mark -- for an election that's 37 months away -- "looking to solidify their financial footing in the face of uncertain political
climates back home."
NRSC spokesman Brian Walsh says, "For the senators who think they're not going to be held accountable just because they're not in (an election) cycle, that would be giving themselves a false sense of
security. Senators should be expected to be held accountable and we'll simply be making a point if the senator votes in line with his party leadership.''
Nelson has frustrated Democratic activists by refusing to embrace a public option and was the target of some Dem ads over the summer looking to pressure him. Said Nelson spokesman Dan McLaughlin: "Someone once said that if you're getting beat up by both sides you must be doing something right.''