Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) seems like he’s doing fairly well in his race for re-election against Trump-backed general election challenger Blake Masters.
Kelly and Democratic groups aligned with him already reserved over $40 million in ad space in Arizona ahead of the November elections, while up until recently, the Republican side only reserved about $18 million, according to available info from AdImpact. Now, millions of dollars in funding for Masters’s side is getting redirected, putting Kelly even further ahead. The Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC associated with Senate Republicans, is ditching some $8 million worth of ad buys in Arizona. The change in strategy is connected to the super PAC’s commitment of $28 million on behalf of J.D. Vance, the Trump-backed GOP pick for Senate in Ohio who is currently running in an unexpectedly tough race against Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), who has a substantial campaign fundraising advantage over Vance’s campaign and who polling consistently — although not entirely — shows in the lead.
“We’re leaving the door wide open in Arizona, but we want to move additional resources to other offensive opportunities that have become increasingly competitive, as well as an unexpected expense in Ohio,” as Senate Leadership Fund President Steven Law explained it. “We think the fundamentals of this election strongly favor Republicans, we see multiple paths to winning the majority, and we are going to invest heavily and strategically to achieve that goal.” Just one seat flipping to the GOP on a net basis would mean a Republican majority in the U.S. Senate. Time remains, of course, for more reservations of ad space in Arizona, and a conservative nonprofit known as OneNation recently launched new ad buys in the state, POLITICO notes.
In Arizona, it’s not just fundraising: Kelly consistently leads in polling, and time in which Masters can turn the race around is quickly running out. Sure, polling isn’t perfect, but a recent Fox News poll found Kelly up by eight percentage points. Republicans at the Senate Leadership Fund are also ditching some $1.7 million in ad buys for Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who is running against a Trump-backed challenger. Law said that the organization’s choice to delay the start of its ads for the Senator reflected confidence in her standing in the race. “We are all-in for Senator Murkowski. Senator Murkowski is in a very strong position and based on that [we] decided to push back our start date,” Law said.
Overall, Democrats in key Senate races are enjoying significant fundraising advantages. In Pennsylvania, Democratic contender and current Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman raised over $1 million in under a week after a widely mocked video of his Republican opponent, Mehmet Oz, shopping for crudités began broadly circulating. From January 1 of last year to June 30 of this year, Fetterman’s campaign accumulated over $26 million, which doesn’t include recent totals. Oz’s total from March 17 of last year to the same end-point is evidently a little over $19 million, but most of that total is money Oz loaned his campaign. Fetterman provided himself with no loans in the aforementioned period. Nearly all of the Pennsylvania Democratic contender’s total is from individual contributions.