The DSCC is reserving $8.4 million in Nevada, $7.5 million in Arizona, $7 million in Georgia and $4 million in New Hampshire, according to a DSCC aide. The party is also going on offense in two states, reserving $3 million in Pennsylvania, which is an open seat due to the retirement of Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, and $3 million in Wisconsin, where GOP Sen. Ron Johnson is running for reelection.
The initial reservations are just the first chess move by Senate Democrats and, like other groups, the DSCC is likely to add to and modify its ad campaigns as the Senate map develops. North Carolina is still considered a battleground. And Democrats are closely watching states like Ohio and Florida to see if they become competitive, while Republicans are eyeing Colorado and Washington state.
But as the rest of the political landscape shapes up ahead of the midterms, the DSCC is reserving now to “communicate on television in the most effective way, drive the contrast between our strong Democratic candidates and the GOP’s weak nominees, and help ensure Democrats protect and expand our Senate majority,” said Christie Roberts, the DSCC’s executive director.
“The GOP’s roster of Senate candidates is defined by deep flaws, support for a damaging policy agenda and disqualifying personal vulnerabilities — and when general election voters learn about these Republicans they’ll see why they have no place in the U.S. Senate,” Roberts added.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee has yet to place its initial reservations, though it is likely to do so in May, according to a person familiar with the issue. Both the DSCC and NRSC’s spending will probably be dwarfed by super PACs: The Mitch McConnell-aligned Senate Leadership Fund placed $141 million in ads and the Chuck Schumer-aligned Senate Majority PAC reserved spots totaling $106 million earlier this month.
Political groups typically reserve as early as they can in the election cycle to preserve better rates for the fall before a crush of competitive gubernatorial and House races sucks up all the ad time. Candidates themselves receive better rates than outside groups.
And more spending is certainly coming: The 2020 election was the most expensive ever.