Dems launch $21 million digital ad buy in top Senate races

Dems launch $21 million digital ad buy in top Senate races
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Two major Democratic super PACs are launching a joint $21 million digital ad campaign to boost Democratic candidates in nine competitive Senate races ahead of the November midterm elections.

Priorities USA Action and Senate Majority PAC (SMP) announced Wednesday that they will spend nearly $18 million on races in Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Missouri and North Dakota. Senate Majority PAC will separately spend $3 million on ads in Montana, Nevada, Tennessee and West Virginia.

The ads will run on social media platforms like Facebook as well as on audio streaming services like YouTube, Hulu and Spotify. The majority of the spots are focusing on taking aim at Republicans over health care, as more Democratic campaigns and groups make it a central issue this year.

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Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Mueller report is a deterrent to government service Senate Republicans tested on Trump support after Mueller Anti-smoking advocates question industry motives for backing higher purchasing age MORE and Senate Republicans are desperate to hold on to power so they can stack the courts, weaken Medicare, and pass even bigger tax cuts for the wealthy and big corporations at our expense,” Guy Cecil, chairman of Priorities USA Action, said in a statement.

J.B. Poersch, president of SMP, added: “With Priorities’ help, we are amassing a robust and efficient digital program to communicate to voters that Democrats are the ones fighting for the middle class, while Republicans continue to look out for the wealthy and the special interests."

While Republicans currently hold a slim 51-49 seat majority in the Senate, Democrats are largely playing defense this fall, with 10 Democrats up for reelection this year in states President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump calls Sri Lankan prime minister following church bombings Ex-Trump lawyer: Mueller knew Trump had to call investigation a 'witch hunt' for 'political reasons' The biggest challenge from the Mueller Report depends on the vigilance of everyone MORE won in 2016.

Still, Democrats are hoping to make some gains in GOP-held seats where polling has shown tight races, such as Nevada, Arizona and Tennessee, with the party seeing a narrow path to winning the Senate in November.

The Democratic super PACs going up with digital ads are defending incumbents in some of the most competitive races this cycle, including Sens. Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellySome in GOP fear Buttigieg run for governor Paul Ryan joins University of Notre Dame faculty GOP senator issues stark warning to Republicans on health care MORE (D-Ind.), Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillBig Dem names show little interest in Senate Gillibrand, Grassley reintroduce campus sexual assault bill Endorsements? Biden can't count on a flood from the Senate MORE (D-Mo.), Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonTrump administration renews interest in Florida offshore drilling: report Dem reps say they were denied access to immigrant detention center Ex-House Intel chair: Intel panel is wrong forum to investigate Trump's finances MORE (D-Fla.) and Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampPro-trade groups enlist another ex-Dem lawmaker to push for Trump's NAFTA replacement Pro-trade group targets 4 lawmakers in push for new NAFTA Biden office highlights support from women after second accuser comes forward MORE (D-N.D.). They're also targeting three potential Senate pick-ups, looking to boost Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D) in Arizona, former Gov. Phil Bredesen (D) in Tennessee and Rep. Jacky RosenJacklyn (Jacky) Sheryl RosenHillicon Valley — Presented by CTIA and America's wireless industry — Prosecutors used FISA warrant to get info on Huawei | Study finds discrimination in Facebook ads | Bezos retains voting control over ex-wife's Amazon stocks More than 30 Senate Dems ask Trump to reconsider Central American aid cuts Dem senators introduce bill to combat sexual harassment in STEM MORE (D) in Nevada.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) warned on Tuesday that Republicans will be facing a “storm” in November, including in the fight for the Senate majority.

Democrats argue that health care can be a winning issue for them this cycle, with a number of red-state Senate Democrats targeting their GOP rivals over an anti-ObamaCare lawsuit.

The effort is a shift from years past including 2010, when Republicans were able to successfully rally against ObamaCare and pick up a stunning 63 seats in the House and six in the Senate.

The announcement Wednesday of millions being spent by Democratic super PACs came a day after the Senate Leadership Fund said it would spend $6.4 million on an ad blitz backing GOP candidates in a number of states to protect the Republican Senate majority.

And some Republicans quickly pushed back on the new Priorities and SMP ads. In North Dakota, the state GOP dismissed ads that accused Rep. Kevin CramerKevin John CramerCain says he 'won't run away from criticism' in push for Fed seat Cain says he won't back down, wants to be nominated to Fed Conservatives urge Trump to stick with Moore for Fed MORE (R-N.D.) of backing special interests over constituents.

"Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonIt is wrong to say 'no collusion' 10 factors making Russia election interference the most enduring scandal of the Obama era And the winner of the Robert Mueller Sweepstakes is — Vladimir Putin MORE and Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerHillicon Valley: House Dems subpoena full Mueller report | DOJ pushes back at 'premature' subpoena | Dems reject offer to view report with fewer redactions | Trump camp runs Facebook ads about Mueller report | Uber gets B for self-driving cars Dem legal analyst says media 'overplayed' hand in Mueller coverage Former FBI official praises Barr for 'professional' press conference MORE are on a mission to save their favorite Senator, but their factually inaccurate ads won't distract from Heidi Heitkamp's liberal record that North Dakotans oppose,” said North Dakota Republican Party spokesman Jake Wilkins.

--Updated at 7:40 p.m.