Democratic Senate campaign committee books $30M in fall TV ads

Democratic Senate campaign committee books $30M in fall TV ads
© Greg Nash

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) is booking more than $30 million in fall television advertisements as it looks to broaden its electoral map ahead of November.

The reservations from the group’s independent expenditure arm include bookings in two states that Democrats see as crucial to their efforts to recapture control of the Senate: Arizona and North Carolina. 

But in a sign that the party is looking to expand its opportunities, the group is also reserving airtime in Montana and Iowa, two states that lean Republican but that Democrats believe could come into play down the line. 

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The reservations include a $6.4 million booking in Arizona, $7.3 million in Iowa, $5.2 million in Montana and $11.7 million in North Carolina. Groups often book television advertising months in advance in order to lock in better rates. 

“Democrats have expanded the map with great candidates, blockbuster fundraising and a focus on the issues that matter to voters,” a DSCC spokesperson said. “These investments are the latest sign that Republicans are on defense and the majority is in play.”

Democrats need to pick up at least three or four seats to take control of the Senate, depending on which party wins control of the White House in November. 

The battle for the Senate currently centers on four states where vulnerable Republican incumbents are fending off tough challenges: Arizona, Colorado, Maine and North Carolina.  

But one Democratic incumbent up for reelection this year, Sen. Doug Jones (Ala.), is in serious political jeopardy, meaning that Democrats will likely have to take at least four Republican-held seats — and hold back GOP challenges in nearly a dozen other states — to win a majority.

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The largest share of the DSCC’s $30 million investment is in North Carolina, where Sen. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisACLU calls on Congress to approve COVID-19 testing for immigrants Poll: Biden, Trump locked in neck-and-neck battle for North Carolina GOP senator: Russia should be labeled state sponsor of terrorism if intelligence is accurate MORE (R-N.C.) is up against Democrat Cal Cunningham in what is expected to become one of the most expensive Senate races this cycle.

The group is also spending heavily in Arizona to take out Sen. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyACLU calls on Congress to approve COVID-19 testing for immigrants Republicans fear backlash over Trump's threatened veto on Confederate names Political establishment takes a hit as chaos reigns supreme MORE (R-Ariz.). She lost a 2018 Senate bid to Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and only gained her seat after Gov. Doug Ducey appointed her to replace the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainJuan Williams: Time for boldness from Biden Democrats lead in three battleground Senate races: poll Republican Scott Taylor wins Virginia primary, to face Elaine Luria in rematch MORE (R-Ariz.). But she’s facing a tough challenge from Democrat Mark Kelly, who has proved to be one of the most prolific fundraisers of the cycle.

Democrats are hoping to bring at least one or two other states into play in the coming months, including Iowa, where Sen. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstRepublicans fear backlash over Trump's threatened veto on Confederate names Senate Republicans defend Trump's response on Russian bounties Overnight Defense: Democrats blast Trump handling of Russian bounty intel | Pentagon leaders set for House hearing July 9 | Trump moves forward with plan for Germany drawdown MORE (R) is facing her first reelection bid, and Montana, where Sen. Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David DainesPolitical establishment takes a hit as chaos reigns supreme Lincoln Project releases new pro-Biden ad in swing states The Hill's Campaign Report: Progressives feel momentum after primary night MORE (R) faces a strong challenge from the state’s sitting Democratic governor Steve BullockSteve BullockLincoln Project releases new pro-Biden ad in swing states The Hill's Campaign Report: Progressives feel momentum after primary night Lincoln Project backs Bullock in Montana Senate race MORE