McConnell's Senate PAC Places $141 Million Ad Buy Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. (Getty Images)
By Charlie McCarthy | Monday, 18 April 2022 10:31 AM
A very expensive battle is shaping up as both major parties seek to capture control of the U.S. Senate in November.
The Senate Leadership Fund (SLF), a GOP super PAC aligned with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is planning to spend $141 million in fall advertisements, Politico reported Monday.
SLF is reserving eight-figure ad flights starting in September to protect Republican seats in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, and to grab Democrat-held seats in Arizona, Georgia, and Nevada, Politico said.
The PAC also has targeted millions in Alaska to protect incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, from a former President Donald Trump-inspired primary challenge.
The Senate Majority PAC (SMP) aligned with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., plans to spend $106 million in Arizona, Nevada, Wisconsin, Georgia, and Pennsylvania. Most of those ads will begin in August.
Those two primary outside groups in Senate races combined have dedicated nearly a quarter-billion dollars for the fall campaigns.
With the upper chamber currently split evenly along party lines, and recent polls showing low job-approval numbers for President Joe Biden, Republicans want to make sure they do everything they can to seize on the opportunity.
"This is such a strong year that we need to invest as broadly and deeply as we can," Steven Law, SLF president, told Politico.
"In the Senate, majority control is everything. It determines what happens on the floor and what doesn't happen. It will have an impact on future Supreme Court nominations. I mean, there's so much at stake."
Law, a former McConnell chief of staff, cautioned Republicans against feeling too confident.
"The only thing that ever concerns me when you're in an environment that's this good, and there's so much talk about the red wave, is that complacency sets in," Law told Politico.
One interesting item is that neither super PAC has slotted money for New Hampshire, where Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., is running for reelection. Republican Gov. Chris Sununu passed on challenging Hassan, and both parties will watch the September GOP primary to see who emerges.
SLF plans to spend $37 million in Georgia, $27 million in North Carolina, $24 million in Pennsylvania, $15 million each in Nevada and Wisconsin, $14 million in Arizona, and $7.4 million in Alaska.
SMP is planning to spend $26 million in Pennsylvania, $22 million in Arizona, $21 million in Nevada, $12 million in Wisconsin, and nearly $25 million in Georgia.
"Both parties recognize the core 2022 Senate map as competitive races in several 'built to be close' presidential battleground states," SMP President JB Poersch told Politico.
"The GOP carries the burden of bad candidates and a badly damaged brand. SMP's intent is obvious: Hold the Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate."
Officials for both super PACs told Politico their initial plans were subject to change and constantly evolving.