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. 

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.

The largest share of the DSCC’s $30 million investment is in North Carolina, where Sen. Thom Tillis (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 McSally (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 McCain (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 Ernst (R) is facing her first reelection bid, and Montana, where Sen. Steve Daines (R) faces a strong challenge from the state’s sitting Democratic governor Steve Bullock. 

Tags 2020 election ad reservations Advertising Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee doug jones DSCC Independent expenditure John McCain Joni Ernst Martha McSally Senate races Steve Bullock Steve Daines Thom Tillis United States Senate elections
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