Republicans have outperformed Democrats by more than $1.6 million in the past two weeks of Wisconsin’s crucial Senate race, according to media buying data obtained by HuffPost, worrying Wisconsin Democrats, who fear cash, Lt. Gov. Mandela. Barnes in his fight with the GOP Sen. Ron Johnson.
Democratic strategist and Wisconsin politics veteran Joe Zepecki, referring to Clinton’s now-infamous decision, said, “We can’t take Wisconsin the way we took Wisconsin in 2016, when Hillary Clinton The kingdom was lost.” State during his campaign against former President Donald Trump. “Where is Calvary? Wisconsin has the way to victory.”
Johnson, who is consistently unpopular in public polls, is considered the weakest Republican Senate incumbent in the country. However, voting in this race is near.
The increase in GOP spending comes as the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC controlled by aides to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, two weeks into post-Labor Day spending that will eventually top $156 million nationally. Will happen. The group has spent $2.2 million over the past two weeks to help Johnson gain an edge in all media markets in the state except Madison.
That amount has been slightly outpaced by its Democratic rival, the Senate Majority PAC, which has spent about $2.4 million.
Republicans have a gain of more than 3,000 points in gross rating points, or GRP, which measures how many people are reached by advertising.
This isn’t always the case when the GOP outnumbers Democrats, as Democrats usually have an advantage in candidate spending, giving them more bang for their buck. (TV stations are required to sell ad time to candidates at the lowest possible rate, a rule that does not apply to outside groups.)
One major issue: Barnes’s small-dollar fundraising dramatically outpaced other Democrats, as he didn’t officially become the party’s nominee until August 2 and has a relatively low national profile. According to his latest Federal Election Commission report, he has raised just over $3 million in contributions of less than $200.
Other Democrats, some of whom have little chance of victory, have moved mountains higher. Val Demings, who is running against Sen. Marco Rubio in Florida, has banked $26.4 million in small donations. Ohio Representative Tim Ryan, running in a state Trump won by 10 percentage points, has raised $8 million in small donations.
Even Marcus Flowers—an Army veteran running with absolutely zero chance to defeat Representative Marjorie Taylor Green—has raised small checks worth $8 million.
Zepecki notes that Democrats or Democrat-backed candidates have won 10 of the 11 statewide elections since Trump’s 2016 victory in Wisconsin, a record Ohio and Florida Democrats can only dream of.
“I fear that candidates like Jamie Harrison and Amy McGrath will divert the attention of donors,” Zepecki said. “When was the last time we lived in Ohio?”
The other element is the GOP’s array of mega donor-funded groups. Beyond the spending of the Senate Leadership Fund, a group called Wisconsin Truth PAC—funded mostly by the families of Wisconsin billionaire conservative Richard Uehlin and Diane Hendrix—has spent about $1.65 million.
Barnes spent about $2.2 million with DSCC over the past two weeks. Johnson and NRSC combined invested approximately $2.5 million.
Barnes is not alone among Democrats seeking financial help. In a memo to donors sent last week and first obtained by Politico, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, the Pennsylvania campaign manager, warned that Republicans have increased spending in the Keystone State.
While Democrats want to increase small-donor giving to Barnes, in the short term the onus is on larger donors who can afford the Super PAC a six- and seven-figure check. Democrats noted that absentee ballots begin going to about 10% of all registered voters in Wisconsin starting Thursday.
“TeaThe ones who can make an impact the fastest are the outside groups,” Zepecki said. “We can’t use our resources until the last two weeks after the election.”
At the same time, groups outside the GOP are increasing spending even in races where Democrats have overwhelming support. In Arizona, where polling showed Sen. Mark Kelly with a healthy lead over venture capitalist Blake Masters, the Senate Leadership Fund has been able to cut $10 million worth of advertising there because other GOP groups—Club for Growth and Euhlin— PAC with backed reinstatement inserted in cash.
“We are delighted to see Republican outside forces in Arizona showing massively, with millions of new spending promises to take down Mark Kelly in the final stretch. This will allow us to pursue aggressive opportunities, maximize our investments in existing commitments.” And that allows us to focus our efforts on winning a Senate majority,” said Steven Law, chairman of the Senate Leadership Fund.