By DONNA CASSATA
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is launching ads this week in North Carolina and Georgia in a crunch-time effort to help establishment-backed Republicans in crowded Senate primaries.
It's also pumping money into commercials praising GOP Senate hopefuls in Michigan, Montana and Alaska.
The powerful business organization's ad buy is a clear attempt to tip the balance in Republican contests and help the GOP nominate viable general election candidates.
The GOP needs to gain six seats to seize the majority in the Senate and emboldened Republicans, pointing to President Barack Obama's unpopularity, are bullish about their chances.
The North Carolina primary is next Tuesday, Georgia two weeks later. The Chamber will begin airing ads Wednesday for North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis and Georgia Rep. Jack Kingston.