The top super PAC supporting Senate Republicans announced Wednesday it is launching an August advertising blitz across five states as the GOP plays defense in the battle over the Senate majority.
The Senate Leadership Fund (SLF), an outside group with ties to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate nearing deal on defense bill after setback On The Money — Powell pivots as inflation rises Schumer eyeing Build Back Better vote as soon as week of Dec. 13 MORE (R-Ky.), said it will air more than $21 million in television and radio ads across Arizona, Georgia, Iowa, Montana and North Carolina. The ads will start airing Aug. 12 in all of these states except Arizona, where the blitz will hit on Aug. 18.
The effort marks an early start for the SLF in the fight to retain GOP control of the Senate, which is in peril due to a slate of well-funded Democratic challengers to Republican incumbents in those five states and elsewhere. The super PAC had already reserved ads to run across the country starting after Labor Day and traditionally waits until then to mount its final advertising offensive.
However, the GOP is ramping up its efforts to protect the Senate as strong second-quarter fundraising totals for Democratic challengers and a string of polls showing competitive races raise alarm bells over the prospect of a complete a Democratic takeover of Washington in November.
All five states are home to vulnerable Republican incumbents in contests The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapper, rates as either “lean” Democrat or “toss up.”
As part of the new ad buy, the SLF will spend $6.6 million in Georgia, $6.1 million in Montana, $4.1 million in Iowa, $2.6 million in North Carolina and $1.9 million in Arizona through Defend Arizona, an affiliated organization.
SLF President Steven Law said the ad blitz will put pressure on Democrats in the targeted races and alluded to Democrats' failed efforts to boost Kansas conservative firebrand Kris Kobach, who lost the state’s GOP Senate primary Tuesday.
“The decisive defeat of [Senate Minority Leader] Chuck SchumerChuck SchumerThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - The omicron threat and Biden's plan to beat it Lawmakers take aim at 'Grinches' using bots to target consumers during holidays Democratic frustration growing over stagnating voting rights bills MORE’s [D-N.Y.] candidate in the Kansas Republican primary last night was just the start of a relentless battle against the progressive left’s Senate takeover plan,” he said in a statement. “Now we’re about to make this the hottest August on record for Democrat Senate candidates who have all sworn allegiance to Chuck Schumer’s radical agenda.”
The SLF's ads were first reported by Politico.
The ad campaign comes as several other outside groups flex their financial muscle in key contests. One Nation, a group aligned with the Senate Leadership Fund, also launched ads this week in all five of these states and more, and top Democratic groups, including Senate Majority PAC, have ads up in a number of states this month.