Republicans reserve $53M in TV ads in bid to win Senate

Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) addresses reporters after the weekly policy luncheon on Tuesday, December 7, 2021.
Greg Nash

The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) will begin reserving television airtime in the party’s bid to recapture control of the Senate, with the first commercials set to begin as soon as this week.

The NRSC will reserve $53 million in airtime for the stretch run to Election Day, a committee source told The Hill.

Republicans will spend $9.5 million against Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) in Georgia and $8 million to try to defeat Sen. Mark Kelly (D) in Arizona. They have reserved another $9 million to blast Sen. Maggie Hassan (D) in New Hampshire and $3 million targeting Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) in Nevada.

Warnock is likely to face former NFL running back Herschel Walker (R) in the fall. Kelly, Hassan and Cortez Masto are all being challenged by a handful of Republicans vying for their party’s nominations.

The NRSC also has plans to spend $9 million defending Sen. Ron Johnson (R) in Wisconsin, where he awaits the winner of a crowded Democratic primary. And the party will lay down $8 million in Pennsylvania and $6.5 million in North Carolina, both states where Republican incumbents are retiring this year.

A committee spokeswoman said the first ads will begin running as early as Friday in Arizona and North Carolina.

The advertising dollars bring to more than $300 million the amount of money the top Republican and Democratic campaign committees and super PACs have announced they will spend this year, as parties and outside groups race to lock down less expensive advertising rates before costs soar after Labor Day.

The NRSC’s counterpart, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, reserved $33 million across six states late last month, a map that mirrored the NRSC’s targets except for North Carolina.

The Senate Majority PAC, the largest outside group dedicated to electing Democrats, laid down $106 million in airtime in five states last month. The Senate Leadership Fund, its Republican counterpart, plopped down $141 million in advertising, too.

The two sides are focusing on the same core set of states that outline the battle for control of a Senate evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans, in which Vice President Harris stands as the tie-breaking vote. At least three of the four groups are planning ad blitzes in campaigns for seven states — Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and New Hampshire, where Democratic incumbents are seeking reelection; Pennsylvania and North Carolina, the Republican open seats; and Johnson’s Wisconsin.

The Senate Leadership Fund is also planning to spend $7.4 million to defend Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) in Alaska, where she faces a conservative rival backed by former President Trump.

Tags Catherine Cortez Masto Catherine Cortez Masto Georgia Senate race Herschel Walker Kamala Harris Lisa Murkowski Maggie Hassan Maggie Hassan Mark Kelly Mark Kelly Nevada senate race New Hampshire Senate race Raphael Warncok Raphael Warnock Ron Johnson Ron Johnson

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