Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) Super-PAC, Senate Majority PAC, made a major ad-buying move ahead of the battle for the majority in the upper chamber in November. Senate Majority PAC reserved almost $70 million in ad-buys for the fall, targeting states Democrats view to be competitive, such as North Carolina, Maine, Arizona and Iowa, per The Washington Post:
MORE: relatively small buys in CO & ME, reflecting Dem confidence and good candidate fundraising in those states. Good size IA reservation as well, as strategists begin to see majority pivoting on Tillis & Ernst. Nothing yet in AL, MT, KY, MI. https://t.co/Y1IWkRXOoL— Mike DeBonis (@mikedebonis) March 30, 2020
Top GOP super PAC Senate Leadership Fund ad reservations for comparison:— Reid Wilson (@PoliticsReid) March 30, 2020
$9.2m in AZ
$5.5m in CO
$12.6m in IA
$7.2m in ME
$21.8m in NC
And they're also spending $10.8m in KY.
This large buy indicates that the seats of Sens. Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Joni Ernst (R-IA) are at the top of the Democrats' list. Democrats in North Carolina just finished a brutal, expensive primary, in which Cal Cunningham emerged victorious thanks to Sen. Schumer's financial bailout. Iowa Democrats are in the middle of their Senate primary, with Sen Schumer's candidate, Theresa Greenfield, as the favorite for the June primary. Sen. Schumer and Senate Majority PAC have spent a very pretty penny on these races, as the GOP counterpart, Senate Leadership Fund, points out:
Reminder: we forced SMP to burn through ~ $15m saving @CalforNC. They're spending to drag other milquetoast candidates like @GreenfieldIowa, @SaraGideon, & @Hickenlooper through their primaries, too.— Jack Pandol (@jackpandol) March 30, 2020
That's money that can't be plugged into fall buys. https://t.co/uEXYsuIzB4
Notably absent from the list of states included in this overhaul of an ad-buy from the Democratic powerhouse is Alabama, where Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) is viewed by both parties as one of the most vulnerable on the ballot in November. Sen. Jones did his electability no favors when he voted for the conviction of President Trump in February.
To achieve their hopes of a Democratic Senate majority, Sen. Schumer and Senate Majority PAC must flip three GOP seats if Democrats take back the White House, and four if President Trump wins a second term. Flipping that many seats would be quite the electoral feat for Democrats, and given the vulnerability of Sen. Jones, such a feat is unlikely.