McConnell-linked super PAC reserves $24M in fall TV ads

A super PAC aligned with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote GOP senator to try to reverse requirement that Pentagon remove Confederate names from bases No, ‘blue states’ do not bail out ‘red states’ MORE (R-Ky.) has reserved $24 million in its first round of fall TV ads in three marquee Senate battlegrounds states.

The Senate Leadership Fund (SLF) will be running ads in Missouri and North Dakota, where Republicans will be trying to flip seats in two states that President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE won by double digits in 2016.

SLF reserved $10.5 million in Missouri, where it is looking to topple 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), who is expected to face Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley (R) in the fall. Trump won Missouri by nearly 20 points.

The super PAC booked $2.3 million in North Dakota, which Trump carried by nearly 36 points. Sen. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn Heitkamp70 former senators propose bipartisan caucus for incumbents Susan Collins set to play pivotal role in impeachment drama Pro-trade group launches media buy as Trump and Democrats near deal on new NAFTA MORE (D) is set to square off against Rep. Kevin CramerKevin John CramerRepublicans prepare to punt on next COVID-19 relief bill GOP senators introduce resolution opposing calls to defund the police Trump tweets spark fresh headache for Republicans MORE (R).


McCaskill and Cramer are top targets for Republicans, as the party looks to expand on its slim 51-seat majority. Democrats have a tough Senate map where they’re defending about two dozen seats — including 10 states that Trump won — while Republicans only need to protect eight seats.

But Repulicans also face a challenging year since the president’s party typically loses seats in his first midterm election.

SLF will also spend $11.2 million in Nevada, where they playing defense for Sen. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerOn The Trail: Democrats plan to hammer Trump on Social Security, Medicare Lobbying World Democrats spend big to put Senate in play MORE (R), who’s considered the most vulnerable GOP senator up for reelection. Trump lost Nevada by more than 2 points. Heller is facing Rep. Jacky RosenJacklyn (Jacky) Sheryl RosenThe Hill’s Coronavirus Report: Mnuchin sees ‘strong likelihood’ of another relief package; Warner says some businesses ‘may not come back’ at The Hill’s Advancing America’s Economy summit The Hill’s Coronavirus Report: CDC Director Redfield responds to Navarro criticism; Mnuchin and Powell brief Senate panel Hillicon Valley: Experts raise security concerns about online voting | Musk finds supporter in Trump | Officials warn that Chinese hackers targeting COVID-19 research groups MORE (D) in November.

The ads will start running after Labor Day, and SLF is expected to make additional multimillion-dollar ad buys as November draws closer.

The Washington Examiner first reported on SLF’s ad reservations.

The Senate Majority PAC (SMP), a PAC with ties to Democratic leadership, announced earlier this month that it’s reserving nearly $80 million in general election ads across nine states with top Senate races.

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Those include six of the 10 states that Trump carried: Florida, Missouri, Indiana, West Virginia, North Dakota and Montana. SMP is also reserving ads in three of Democrats’ best pickup opportunities: Nevada, Arizona and Tennessee. SMP didn’t disclose the spending breakdown.

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