Dems launch $21 million digital ad buy in top Senate races

Two major Democratic super PACs are launching a joint $21 million digital ad campaign to boost Democratic candidates in nine competitive Senate races ahead of the November midterm elections.

Priorities USA Action and Senate Majority PAC (SMP) announced Wednesday that they will spend nearly $18 million on races in Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Missouri and North Dakota. Senate Majority PAC will separately spend $3 million on ads in Montana, Nevada, Tennessee and West Virginia.

The ads will run on social media platforms like Facebook as well as on audio streaming services like YouTube, Hulu and Spotify. The majority of the spots are focusing on taking aim at Republicans over health care, as more Democratic campaigns and groups make it a central issue this year.


“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 and Senate Republicans are desperate to hold on to power so they can stack the courts, weaken Medicare, and pass even bigger tax cuts for the wealthy and big corporations at our expense,” Guy Cecil, chairman of Priorities USA Action, said in a statement.

J.B. Poersch, president of SMP, added: “With Priorities’ help, we are amassing a robust and efficient digital program to communicate to voters that Democrats are the ones fighting for the middle class, while Republicans continue to look out for the wealthy and the special interests.”

While Republicans currently hold a slim 51-49 seat majority in the Senate, Democrats are largely playing defense this fall, with 10 Democrats up for reelection this year in states 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 in 2016.

Still, Democrats are hoping to make some gains in GOP-held seats where polling has shown tight races, such as Nevada, Arizona and Tennessee, with the party seeing a narrow path to winning the Senate in November.

The Democratic super PACs going up with digital ads are defending incumbents in some of the most competitive races this cycle, including Sens. Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyEx-Sen. Joe Donnelly endorses Biden Lobbying world 70 former senators propose bipartisan caucus for incumbents MORE (D-Ind.), 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-Mo.), 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-Fla.) and 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-N.D.). They’re also targeting three potential Senate pick-ups, looking to boost Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D) in Arizona, former Gov. Phil Bredesen (D) in Tennessee and 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 Nevada.

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) warned on Tuesday that Republicans will be facing a “storm” in November, including in the fight for the Senate majority.

Democrats argue that health care can be a winning issue for them this cycle, with a number of red-state Senate Democrats targeting their GOP rivals over an anti-ObamaCare lawsuit.

The effort is a shift from years past including 2010, when Republicans were able to successfully rally against ObamaCare and pick up a stunning 63 seats in the House and six in the Senate.

The announcement Wednesday of millions being spent by Democratic super PACs came a day after the Senate Leadership Fund said it would spend $6.4 million on an ad blitz backing GOP candidates in a number of states to protect the Republican Senate majority.

And some Republicans quickly pushed back on the new Priorities and SMP ads. In North Dakota, the state GOP dismissed ads that accused 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-N.D.) of backing special interests over constituents.

“Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhite House accuses Biden of pushing ‘conspiracy theories’ with Trump election claim Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton qualifies to run for county commissioner in Florida MORE and Chuck SchumerChuck SchumerOvernight Health Care: US showing signs of retreat in battle against COVID-19 | Regeneron begins clinical trials of potential coronavirus antibody treatment | CMS warns nursing homes against seizing residents’ stimulus checks Schumer requests briefing with White House coronavirus task force as cases rise Schumer on Trump’s tweet about 75-year-old protester: He ‘should go back to hiding in the bunker’ MORE are on a mission to save their favorite Senator, but their factually inaccurate ads won’t distract from Heidi Heitkamp’s liberal record that North Dakotans oppose,” said North Dakota Republican Party spokesman Jake Wilkins.

–Updated at 7:40 p.m.