Elections

Senate Leadership Reinforces Battleground Races With $40 Million

Reuters/Carlos Barria

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Phillip Stucky Political Reporter
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A superPAC started to ensure Republicans maintain a majority in the Senate reserved more $40 million dollars in ad buys across five Senate races Tuesday.

The Senate Leadership Fund announced Tuesday that the group reserved advertising spots in five Senate races; Nevada, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Missouri, and New Hampshire.

“We set out this election cycle with one paramount goal: keeping the Senate in Republican hands,” SLF president Steven Law stated in a press release. “After years of partisan dysfunction under Harry Reid, the Senate is getting results again for American families under Mitch McConnell’s steady leadership.”

In Nevada, Republican Representative Joe Heck is running against Reid-Backed Democrat Catherine Masto. The latest polling numbers give Masto a slight lead in the race at 42-41 percent. SLF earmarked $3 million with placements in three weeks in September and October.

Pennsylvania features Republican Senator Pat Toomey against former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Kate McGinty. Toomey enjoyed a slight lead Tuesday, according to recent polls, 40-39 percent. The SLF invested heavily in the state, with $6.2 million reserved for three weeks in October.

Current Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio faces a challenger in former Democratic Governor Ted Strickland. Strickland is at a one point deficit at 40-39 percent. The superPAC invested a larger amount in this race, $8.1 million that is spread between two weeks in September and two weeks in October.

Incumbent Republican Senator Roy Blunt will defend his seat from current Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander. The polls give Blunt a 7 point lead, 44-37. To go with that more commanding lead, the superPAC will only be spending $2.5 million over two weeks in September.

Finally, in New Hampshire, Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte faces stiff competition from current Democratic Governor Maggie Hassan. The most recent polls have the Governor ahead 44-42 percent. To answer this deficit, The SLF invested $16 million over six weeks in September and October.

Senate Leadership Fund leaders stated that the announcement for Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida to seek reelection came after the ad purchases were made. The group made plans to invest heavily in the hotly contested Florida Senate race. Although according to recent polls Rubio has a strong 7 to 8 point lead over both potential Democratic challengers, Democrats made the local race a national one. President Obama and Democratic Senator Corey Booker formally endorsed candidate Patrick Murphy over Democratic Senator Alan Grayson. Both Obama and Booker fundraised for Murphy.

Democratic Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid joined the race Tuesday, calling for Floridians to sue Rubio for missing votes in the Senate during Rubio’s presidential bid.

All told, the first round of investments total $40 million, with more spending announcements coming soon. The Senate Leadership Fund’s push comes after Kock-backed groups invested heavily in these five Senate races, and former President George W. Bush held Fundraisers in three of the states.

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