May 19, 2024

Senate Majority PAC (SMP), a Democrat group linked to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), revealed on Monday its intention to allocate nearly a quarter-billion dollars for television advertisements across seven states. The hefty $239 million in advertising reservations is slated to start this summer in an attempt to maintain the Democrats’ narrow one-seat majority of the Senate.

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Republicans are expected to gain a net advantage due to Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-W.Va.) retirement, putting Democrats on edge. They’re now focused on safeguarding seven states they already hold, hoping to keep the White House under Democratic control, and giving the Vice President a tie-breaking vote, if needed. 

About $100 million is now earmarked to go to states that former President Trump is expected to win in November. The largest chunk of the reservation, totaling $65 million, is allocated for Ohio, where Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) is seeking reelection. Another $45 million was previously earmarked for Montana, where Sen. Jon Tester (D) is also vying to maintain his seat, in what is considered to be among the most challenging races for Democrats.  

In Pennsylvania, $42 million is being spent to bolster Bob Casey’s (D) reelection bid. $23 million will flow into Arizona, where Independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, who caucuses with the Democrats, announced last week that she would not seek re-election

Other reservations include $14 million in Michigan, $36 million in Nevada, and $14 million in Wisconsin. In five out of the seven states targeted—Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, and Nevada—both Democratic and Republican presidential nominees are gearing up for substantial additional spending, signaling that these are the battlegrounds to be fiercely fought over. 

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By making advanced television bookings, organizations can secure discounted rates in key states. It’s worth noting that the overall figure provided does not encompass the extensive digital outreach effort currently underway by the group. As part of SMP’s strategy, they are implementing their largest digital media campaigns ever, with a specific focus on targeting and mobilizing Latino, black, and younger voters

Predictably, the group plans to use abortion as a wedge issue, according to a statement. Senate Majority PAC President J.B. Poersch wrote:

In 2024, a woman’s access to abortion, health care coverage for preexisting conditions, and the preservation and strengthening of Medicare and Social Security are all on the ballot. That’s why we’re placing the largest ad reservations in Senate history, to remind voters exactly what’s at stake this election.

Future expenditures are expected to surpass the current reservations, with eyes on Florida and Texas. Democrats view Senators Rick Scott (R-Fla.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) as their top prospects for picking up seats in the chamber.

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The Republican-aligned Senate Leadership Fund, controlled by allies of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), previously announced fall spending starting in September, to include $24.6 million in Montana and $57.5 million in Ohio. 

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