A key Democratic outside group is reserving nearly $10 million for election ads in the battleground state of Ohio, hoping to overcome a massive spending spree by GOP Sen. Rob Portman.
Senate Majority PAC is reserving $9.5 million in airtime aimed at ousting Portman and aiding Democrat Ted Strickland, pushing the total money committed there to more than $50 million.
The group, affiliated with Democratic leadership, has already spent $1.8 million attacking Portman for exporting U.S. jobs from Ohio and for being a D.C. insider. In a statement, Senate Majority PAC spokesman Shripal Shah said the ad campaign will continue the same theme.
“As a 30-year Washington insider, Rob Portman has spent his career going to bat for corporations that ship jobs overseas and big banks on Wall Street — all at the expense of people across Ohio,” Shah said. “We are going to make sure Ohio voters know the truth about his record; they deserve better than a Senator who only works for special interests.”
The slate of ads reserved this week will begin running in September.
Portman launched his own massive ad buy last week, reserving $15 million in TV and digital ads for the fall. Portman is a prodigious fundraiser and has outraised Strickland consistently, making the air support from Senate Majority PAC a welcome development for Democrats.
In a statement, Portman campaign spokeswoman Michawn Rich said Strickland’s “campaign is completely dependent on Harry Reid and Hillary Clinton to drag him across the finish line in November.”
The Ohio Senate race is quickly shaping up to be the most expensive in the nation, with so many media markets and so much focus on the perennial swing state. National Republicans have reserved $6 million, national Democrats $10 million and outside groups have spent at least $11 million thus far.
Senate Majority PAC has also reserved major fall buys of $7.5 million in New Hampshire, where Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan is trying to knock off Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte, and $8.5 million in the race for Nevada’s open seat, where Catherine Cortez Masto is expected to face Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nev.) officials said. The group’s total spending and commitments this cycle are about $29.6 million thus far.
Party committees and outside groups are reserving millions in presidential battleground states now, because ad time only gets more expensive as election day nears.