Campaign

Trump-sanctioned super PAC makes first ad buys

AP Photo/Tom E. Puskar
Former President Trump welcomes J.D. Vance, Republican candidate for Ohio senator, to the stage at a campaign rally in Youngstown, Ohio., Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022.

The new super PAC launched by allies of former President Trump is making its first forays into U.S. Senate races. 

The group, MAGA Inc., has placed $276,000 in broadcast television reservations in the Columbus and Cleveland media markets, according to the ad-tracking firm AdImpact, a sign that the Trump-sanctioned super PAC may be ready to help Ohio Republican Senate nominee J.D. Vance in the final month of the campaign. 

The ads are slated to begin running on Friday, according to another firm, Medium Buying

AdImpact and Medium Buying also said the super PAC had made ad buys in Pennsylvania.

Despite Ohio’s rightward shift in recent years, the race to succeed retiring Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) has become particularly competitive, with several recent polls showing Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), the Democratic Senate nominee, leading Vance, an author and venture capitalist whom Trump endorsed in a primary earlier this year.

Ryan has proven to be a particularly strong fundraiser. His campaign announced on Wednesday that he pulled in more than $17 million in the third quarter of the year, marking a nearly two-fold increase over the last fundraising period.

Meanwhile, billionaire venture capitalist Peter Thiel, who poured millions of dollars into Vance’s Senate campaign, has indicated to his allies that he may be done spending money in Ohio, according to a CNBC report out this week. 

In Pennsylvania, the race between Democrat John Fetterman and Republican nominee Mehmet Oz is tightening. Fetterman’s lead has steadily shrunk over the past several weeks and the Cook Political Report earlier this week moved it back into its “toss up” column.

The investment from MAGA Inc. signals the group is ready to make good on its mission to boost Trump’s endorsed candidates ahead of the November midterm elections. The stakes are particularly high in the Senate, where Republicans need to net just one seat to recapture the majority. 

Updated at 3:11 p.m.

Tags Mehmet Oz Ohio Ohio Senate Race Peter Thiel Rob Portman Tim Ryan

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