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More than $1.6 billion has been spent or booked on television advertising in dozens of Senate races, with $3 of every $4 spent in six states — Georgia, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Wisconsin, Nevada and Ohio, according to an NPR analysis of data provided by ad tracking company AdImpact.
Most of that money comes from dark money outside groups that have little or no donor transparency — and Republicans get a lot of support from it.
Outside groups have pumped nearly $1 billion to support Republican Senate candidates. How important are these groups to Republicans? Eighty-six percent Of the money that goes into pro-GOP television advertising comes from these outside groups, compared to 55% for Democrats. (Below, see how much Republican and Democratic campaigns and outside groups are spending on TV advertising in key states.)
Put simply: Without these outside groups, the Republican candidates would have been mired in the airwaves.
Focused advertising spending reflects how tight the battle for control of the Senate is. The chamber is divided equally into 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans. However, the Democrats are in charge of the agenda because there is a Democratic president, and in her role as Vice President, Kamala Harris comes in to cut ties.
Republicans need a net pick of two Senate seats to win a majority, and many major races are likely to be decided by just a few percentage points.
So outside campaigns and groups pour in tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars into each state to influence the ever-shrinking percentage of persuasive voters.
Because campaigns get lower ad rates from these groups, they can show more TV ads than external groups for the same amount of money.
So the impotence of the Republicans Campaigns To keep up with the Democrats, these out-groups of the Republican Party had to make up a lot of ground, spending more for less.
The largest outside spender is the Senate Leadership Fund, the group allied with Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. It has spent $219 million in eight states, of which $110 million is for just three races – Georgia, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Each of those states features Trump-backed Republican candidates, who have been struggling.
The biggest spender on the Democratic side is the Senate Majority PAC, which has ties to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. I’ve spent $145 million in six states.
included All Expenditures In addition to spending on television advertising—such as hiring, correspondence, events, and out-of-vote efforts—outside groups have so far spent more than $1.3 billion, a record for a midterm election, According to OpenSecrets, which tracks campaign finance spending. And it has continued the trend since the 2010 Supreme Court decision, Citizens United, which opened the door wide for outside spending.
In general, those OpenSecrets projects More than 9 billion dollars will be spent on federal elections in 2022, including those for the Senate and the House of Representatives. It’s a midterm record and represents a massive escalation from recent years, ie doubling what was spent in 2014 and a 32% increase from 2018.
Here are the top 10 states with the most TV ad spend with less breakdown of what comes from campaigns versus outside groups:
1 – Georgia: 258 million dollars
2 – Pennsylvania: 241 million dollars
3. Arizona: $213 million
4 – Wisconsin: $204 million
5 – Nevada: 171 million dollars
6. Ohio: $167 million
7- New Hampshire: 128 million dollars
8. North Carolina: 113 million dollars
9. Florida: 66 million dollars
10. Colorado: 40 million dollars