Thursday, December 19, 2019

BREAKING: 11 Months Before Election, TV Spending In Arizona's Senate Race Breaks $5M; *Leads* Nation (#50ShadesOfDarkMoney)

If you watch local television, you will not be surprised: TV ad spending related to Arizona's U.S. Senate race just crossed the $5,000,000 barrier. You probably are not surprised that that easily leads the nation. Nor are you surprised that nearly all of it comes from dark money groups on both sides of the aisle.

Somewhat surprisingly, however, the money spent attacking and backing Sen. Martha McSally is nearly evenly split.

Democratic-philic groups have spent $2.6M so far. Advancing Arizona has been hammering Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ) since September. It makes up most of the anti-McSally ad barrage, which started in September. Advancing Arizona has resisted all efforts by Arizona's Politics and other reporters to find out where the money is coming from. It rates a *perfect* "50" on Arizona's Politics "50 Shades Of Dark Money" spectrum.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the leading Republican-philic group to step up to try to counter-balance the McSally pummeling. The response has spent $2.5M, even though the Chamber did not start until the end of October. The U.S. Chamber also earns a dark "50".

The campaigns for McSally and likely Democratic nominee Mark Kelly have not yet run any TV ads, and are both stockpiling huge sums of money. Kelly has raised more money ($14M) than any other candidate in the nation - including incumbents, and even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell - and has $9.5M on hand (as of Sept. 30). McSally has raised $8.5M and has $5.7M in the bank.

The advertising figures are through December 14, and come from Kantar/CMAG with analysis by the Wesleyan Media Project.

Spending in the North Carolina Senate race is the closest to Arizona, yet they are only at $4.0M.

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