Mitch McConnell’s Super PAC Shells Out $18 Million To Boost GOP Senate Hopefuls

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Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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A Super PAC associated with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is spending $18.4 million to promote six Republican Senate candidates running in competitive races.

The Senate Leadership Fund will spend $3.67 million apiece promoting Herschel Walker in Georgia and Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania, $3.54 million promoting North Carolina Rep. Ted Budd, $3.07 million promoting JD Vance in Ohio, $2.4 million promoting Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, and $2.03 million promoting Adam Laxalt in Nevada, according to documents filed Tuesday with the Federal Election Commission. All six candidates are running in races considered toss-ups by RealClearPolitics, and all except Johnson are being out-raised by their Democratic opponents.

The new spending comes on the heels of a $23 million ad buy in New Hampshire targeting Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan, as well as a $28 million buy in support of Vance. The latest tranche of ad buys excludes Blake Masters of Arizona, who is trailing incumbent Democrat Mark Kelly in fundraising and in polls. McConnell is scheduled to appear at a fundraiser for Masters on Tuesday, according to CNN. (RELATED: McCarthy-Allied Super PAC Dishes Out $37 Million Amid GOP Midterm Worries)

McConnell has reportedly feuded at length with billionaire GOP donor Peter Thiel over his lack of support for both Vance and Masters. Although Thiel gave millions of dollars to both candidates through their primaries, he has not yet donated to either during the general election cycle, according to Bloomberg.

The Republican leader has publicly expressed concern with fundraising and “candidate quality.” McConnell has also feuded with National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman Rick Scott of Florida, who labeled criticism of GOP candidates “treasonous to the conservative cause” in a Washington Examiner op-ed.

Democrats are currently favored to maintain control of the Senate, with the most likely outcome a 51-49 split, according to FiveThirtyEight.