NC, IA, AZ, CO & ME: NYT, “Where Are the Senate Battleground States? Look at the Ads”

The New York Times has a good piece out that highlights which Senate races are becoming early top targets:

In the days when the Democratic presidential field was filled with a couple dozen candidates, a common line in their stump speeches would draw guaranteed applause: “Let’s make Mitch McConnell a back bencher.”

Though the process of narrowing that field to two candidates has sucked up most of the political oxygen over the past year, the fury within the Democratic base toward Mr. McConnell, the Senate majority leader, remains deep and motivating, and the desire to take back the chamber from Republicans is immense.

Republicans hold 53 Senate seats, meaning Democrats need to flip at least three of them, or four if President Trump is re-elected, to strip Mr. McConnell of his majority leader title. But Senator Doug Jones of Alabama, a Democrat, is facing a difficult race for re-election in his heavily Republican state, so Democrats may very well need to pick up five other seats.

Over the past week, the two main super PACs supporting Democratic and Republican candidates for the Senate have made a combined $140 million in advertising reservations for the fall, and where they’re spending tells us where party insiders believe the battle for the Senate will be fought: in North Carolina, Iowa, Arizona, Colorado and Maine.

The Washington Post has more:

J.B. Poersch, Senate Majority PAC’s president, said in an interview that he has been encouraged not only by a more favorable Senate landscape than in 2018, when Democrats had to defend seats in 10 states that President Trump won, but also by his party’s persistent advantage in data gathered in key states.

“You’ve already gone through a cycle with the Mueller report, an impeachment acquittal in the Senate, [Bernie Sanders] may be the nominee, [Joe Biden] looking like he may be the nominee, and now what’s happening in the world with coronavirus and a rattling economy,” he said. “And yet, Democrats have held leads in several states and Senate races and consistently performed well. It’s not been a roller-coaster ride.”

The group’s total reservation of $69.2 million slightly exceeds the $67.1 million initial reservation announced last week by its Republican counterpart, the Senate Leadership Fund.

Both groups reserved time in Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Maine and North Carolina; the Republican group also reserved $10.8 million in Kentucky, where Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is seeking a seventh term.

“Protecting our Republican Senate majority has become synonymous with ensuring a firewall against the Democrats’ far-left ambitions,” Steven Law, SLF president, said in a statement, adding that the initial spending figure “demonstrates we intend to hold the line.”

Unlike in 2018, both parties’ spending will be overshadowed by the billions that are likely to be spent on the presidential campaigns, and Poersch said the initial reservations were largely driven by that dynamic.

“Driving our thinking on the reservations is knowing that in presidential battleground states, at some point the presidential [race] is going to drop a big footprint and drive costs up,” he said. “So we need to begin there. This is way early in previous cycles. We keep reserving, and this cycle will be no different.”

The initial SMP reservations include $5.2 million in Colorado, $9.6 million in Maine,$13.1 million in Iowa, $15.7 million in Arizona and $25.6 million in North Carolina. Except for Colorado, where the SLF has reserved $5.5 million, the Democratic group’s reservations are slightly larger than the GOP group’s in each of those states.

That list of targets will surely grow but for now, these five states are where the groundwork is really being placed heavily. Let’s not just win the White House, let’s win a Senate Majority. Click below to donate and get involved with these Democrats campaigns:

Cal Cunningham (D. NC)

Theresa Greenfield (D. IA)

Mark Kelly (D. AZ)

John Hickenlooper (D. CO)

Sara Gideon (D. ME)