Speed Reads

2022 ad watch

Senate Republican campaign arm cuts ad spending in at least 4 key battleground races

The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) has canceled more than $10 million in ad spending in the key battleground states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona, and Nevada since Aug. 1, in a potential sign of financial troubles heading into the heart of the 2022 campaign season, Politico and The New York Times reported Monday, citing ad-tracking firms. "People are asking, 'What the hell is going on?'" one GOP strategist told Politico. "Why are we cutting in August? I've never seen it like this before."

NSRC spokesman Chris Hartline said the Senate GOP campaign arm is being "creative in how we're spending our money and will continue to make sure that every dollar spent by the NRSC is done in the most efficient and effective way possible," adding, "Nothing has changed about our commitment to winning in all of our target states." A source familiar with the NRSC's deliberations told Politico the committee is being forced to "stretch every dollar we can." The NRSC could buy back some of the ad time or move the funds to a joint committee with the candidates, taking advantage of lower candidate rates. 

"While the scale of these cuts is unprecedented, the NRSC is also ahead of its typical schedule on its ad spending, having already spent $36.5 million on television spots this cycle, as opposed to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee's $1.9 million to date," Politico reports. A second Republican strategist called the cuts "unreal," especially because the NRSC did not pull ad spending in less-competitive New Hampshire, Washington, or Colorado races. 

The NRSC has had to step after the GOP candidate in battleground have failed to raise enough money to run their own ads. At the same time, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) Senate Leadership Fund super PAC is pouring money into ads in Pennsylvania and other states where the NSRC is pulling back. McConnell's group has reserved $150 million in ads for this fall.