Senate Dems lock in $30 million in TV airtime

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) said Monday it had reserved $30 million in late television advertising across six states.

The DSCC said it had made reservations in Indiana, West Virginia, North Dakota and Montana, all states where Democratic incumbents face difficult reelection battles in the months ahead.

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The committee also reserved airtime in Arizona and Nevada, two states where Republican-held seats are seen as prime pickup opportunities.

The national party organization has not yet reserved airtime in three other key states: Missouri, where Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillMissouri county issues travel advisory for Lake of the Ozarks after Memorial Day parties Senate faces protracted floor fight over judges amid pandemic safety concerns Amash on eyeing presidential bid: ‘Millions of Americans’ want someone other than Trump, Biden MORE (D) is up for reelection; Florida, where Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonNASA, SpaceX and the private-public partnership that caused the flight of the Crew Dragon Lobbying world The most expensive congressional races of the last decade MORE (D) faces well-funded Gov. Rick Scott (R); and Tennessee, where former Gov. Phil Bredesen (D) is mounting a surprisingly strong challenge for a Republican-held open seat.

But a top DSCC aide said ad reservations in those states are likely to come later. The Senate Majority PAC, the top outside group that funds advertising for Democratic candidates, has already purchased $10 million in airtime in Missouri and $24 million in Florida for advertisements scheduled to run after Labor Day.

Party committees routinely block off tens of millions of dollars in advertising reservations early in an election year to lock in low rates before last-minute demand drives up prices.

Those committees are not obligated to actually spend the money, though parties are cautious about making reservations they will eventually cancel because cancellations might send a message that a targeted candidate is struggling to survive.

Democrats have an early advantage in the money chase this year. Through the end of May, the DSCC and the Senate Majority PAC had a combined $63 million in the bank. The National Republican Senatorial Committee and the Senate Leadership Fund, the major GOP super PAC, had about $30 million in cash.

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