McCarthy-Allied Super PAC Dishes Out $37 Million Amid GOP Midterm Worries

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Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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Amid rising concerns that Republicans will under-perform in November’s midterm elections, a Super PAC aligned with House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy is spending $37 million on TV ad buys in 17 congressional districts and two major media markets.

The Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF) is expanding ad buys in eleven districts where it first became active in April and is purchasing ads for the first time in six other districts. Democrats hold twelve of the 17 districts, including New York’s 19th, which Rep. Pat Ryan won in an Aug. 23 special election. Eleven of the twelve Democrats are listed as targets by the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), while Republicans Don Bacon of Nebraska and Mariannette Miller-Meeks and Ashley Hinson of Iowa are being targeted by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s Red to Blue program.

“There is incredible energy behind the fight to elect a new Republican Majority and it only continues to grow by the day,” CLF President Dan Conston said in a statement. “Republicans are in a great position to win the House and we’re adding more firepower to the arsenal we need to make it a reality.” (RELATED: Mississippi Rep. Michael Guest Survives Scare, Defeats Primary Challenge In Run-Off)

CLF earmarked $125 million in late April across 46 congressional districts, with $111 million targeting Democrat-held seats. McCarthy said in the aftermath of Republican Glenn Youngkin’s victory in the Virginia governor’s race that 70 seats would be competitive in the midterms, suggesting a potential repeat of the 2010 midterms. That year, Republicans picked up 63 seats.

Democrats over-performed in four special elections in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade, leading some Republicans to worry about the margins of their likely House majority. Although the GOP is still expected to take back the lower chamber, analysts like the Cook Political Report and FiveThirtyEight are downgrading the expected size of their majority.

Following several divisive GOP primaries and accompanying fundraising struggles, Republicans are no longer expected by handicappers to take back the Senate. FiveThirtyEight considers the most likely outcome in the upper chamber to be a 53-47 split, with Democrats potentially flipping seats in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and North Carolina.

The Senate Leadership Fund (SLF), affiliated with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, has redirected funds in an effort to support GOP candidates. SLF announced a $28 million ad buy in support of JD Vance in Ohio, canceling ad buys in support of Blake Masters in Arizona and Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski.