A super PAC controlled by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has canceled $10 million of campaign ads in Arizona and Alaska. That includes $8 million alone no longer going to assist the senate race of Arizona GOP candidate Blake Masters, indicating that McConnell is pessimistic about the possibilities of a Republican victory in the state.
The $2 million pulled from the Alsaka race is seen as less crucial since Senator Lisa Murkowski’s prospects seem relatively good in a safe Republican Senate seat.
McConnell’s Senate Leadership Fund is, however, still spending $28 million to help J.D. Vance in Ohio.
“We’re leaving the door wide open in Arizona, but we want to move additional resources to other offensive opportunities that have become increasingly competitive, as well as an unexpected expense in Ohio,” said Senate Leadership Fund President Steven Law. “We think the fundamentals of this election strongly favor Republicans, we see multiple paths to winning the majority, and we are going to invest heavily and strategically to achieve that goal.”
This comes on the heels of the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s announcement that they were canceling ad buys in key battleground states.
Headed by Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), the NRSC has seen its coffers dwindle from $173 million to just $28 million with little explanation, causing many members of the GOP to ask Scott “Where is the money?”
“The cuts — totaling roughly $13.5 million since Aug. 1 — come as the Republicans’ Senate campaign committee is being forced to ‘stretch every dollar we can,’ said a person familiar with the NRSC’s deliberations. Republican nominees in critical states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and North Carolina — places the GOP must defend this fall — have failed to raise enough money to get on air themselves, requiring the NRSC to make cuts elsewhere to accommodate.”
“Since Aug. 1, the NRSC has cut ad buys in the battleground states of Pennsylvania ($7.5 million), Arizona ($3.5 million), Wisconsin ($2.5 million) and Nevada ($1.5 million), according to the ad tracking service AdImpact. Separately, a Democratic source tracking advertising buys estimated roughly $10.5 million in cuts by the NRSC since the first of the month.”
Small-dollar donations have dwindled for the GOP, and, with many fundraising dollars instead going to the defense funds of the disgraced former president, it doesn’t seem likely that the candidates in swing states will benefit.
McConnell and Scott’s decision to pull advertisements from key states signals a turning point for Republicans, but it’s primarily in the Democrats’ favor as their prospects to retain a majority in the Senate seem good.
Of course, that only will be the case if Democrats don’t become complacent at their seeming lead and do turn up to the polls in November.
Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick