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 McConnellGrassley: Dems 'withheld information' on new Kavanaugh allegation Kavanaugh accuser set to testify Thursday McConnell told Trump criticism of Kavanaugh accuser isn't helpful: report 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 TrumpGrassley: Dems 'withheld information' on new Kavanaugh allegation Health advocates decry funding transfer over migrant children Groups plan mass walkout in support of Kavanaugh accuser 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 DonnellyDoug Jones to McConnell: Don't 'plow right through' with Kavanaugh The Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh McCaskill to oppose Kavanaugh nomination MORE (D-Ind.), Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillNelson campaign to donate K from Al Franken group to charity 'Kavanaugh' chants erupt at Trump rally in Missouri The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh, accuser say they’re prepared to testify MORE (D-Mo.), Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonNelson campaign to donate K from Al Franken group to charity Political shenanigans mask true problems in Puerto Rico The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — The Hill interviews President Trump MORE (D-Fla.) and Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampGOP plays defense on ObamaCare’s pre-existing conditions Doug Jones to McConnell: Don't 'plow right through' with Kavanaugh Heitkamp knocks GOP challenger for 'disturbing' comments on Kavanaugh allegations 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 RosenGOP plays defense on ObamaCare’s pre-existing conditions Heller embraces Trump in risky attempt to survive in November Trump boosts Heller, hammers 'Wacky Jacky' opponent in Nevada 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 CramerGOP plays defense on ObamaCare’s pre-existing conditions Heitkamp knocks GOP challenger for 'disturbing' comments on Kavanaugh allegations 5 things to know about Trump's escalating trade war with China MORE (R-N.D.) of backing special interests over constituents.

"Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGraham: There's a 'bureaucratic coup' taking place against Trump Fox News poll shows Dems with edge ahead of midterms Poll: Democrats in position to retake the House MORE and Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTrump, GOP regain edge in Kavanaugh battle READ: President Trump’s exclusive interview with Hill.TV The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump slams Sessions in exclusive Hill.TV interview | Kavanaugh accuser wants FBI investigation 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.