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Senate Leadership Fund Reserves Almost $40M in Ad Time

The Senate Leadership Fund – a Republican super-PAC aligned with Senate Majority Mitch McConnell of Kentucky – said Tuesday it had reserved an initial $38.6 million in television advertising this fall to help the party in its fight to hold control of the chamber.

The buys are early and can change, but they give an indication of how Republicans are prioritizing resources to defend the majority in what looks to be a tough year for many incumbents.

According to Ian Prior, a spokesman for the group, the initial round of funding will target the following states:

  • In New Hampshire, $15.8 million for four weeks in September and two weeks in October to help Sen. Kelly Ayotte in her race against Gov. Maggie Hassan (the buy was placed in partnership with Granite State Solutions, the group said).
  • In Ohio, $8.1 million for two weeks in September and October in favor of Sen. Rob Portman over former Gov. Ted Strickland.
  • In Nevada, $6 million for three weeks in September and October to help Rep. Joe Heck attempt to take back the seat being vacated by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid. He faces Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto.
  • In Pennsylvania, $6.2 million for three weeks in October to help Sen. Pat Toomey defend his seat from Democrat Katie McGinty.
  • In Missouri, $2.5 million for three weeks in September to defend Sen. Roy Blunt from his challenge by Secretary of State Jason Kander.

Already this summer, One Nation, a closely aligned group also chaired by former McConnell aide Steven Law, had spent more than $7 million in New Hampshire, a top target for Democrats. In Ohio, the group has spent $6 million to defend Portman.

Prior said money is also on its way to Florida to support Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, who announced last week that he would seek re-election.

Two notable admissions from the initial round of buys are Illinois and Wisconsin, home to vulnerable Sens. Mark Kirk and Ron Johnson.