IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.
Photo Illustration: An elephant foot stomps on a TV with Dr. Oz on the screen
MSNBC / Getty Images

GOP Senate group cancels ad buys in these battleground states

The National Republican Senatorial Committee pulled millions of dollars in ads from Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Arizona. That could mean a few things.


The Senate GOP's campaign arm has significantly scaled back its ad buys in three battleground states, signaling potential fundraising issues, campaign troubles or both. 

The New York Times was first to report that the National Republican Senatorial Committee would be dialing back its ad buys in Arizona, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania to the tune of around $10 million. 

According to the Times:

The National Republican Senatorial Committee has cut more than $5 million in Pennsylvania, including its reservations in the Philadelphia media market, according to two media-tracking sources.

Reservations in Wisconsin, in the Madison and Green Bay markets, have also been curtailed, by more than $2 million. And in Arizona, all reservations after Sept. 30 have been cut in Phoenix and Tucson, the state’s only two major media markets, amounting to roughly $2 million more.

“Nothing has changed about our commitment to winning in all of our target states,” an NRSC spokesperson told the Times.

Nothing — except millions of dollars in ad spending, apparently.

Given that response, it seems prudent, as always, to read the Republican Party’s actions — rather than its statements — to find the truth here. And the truth is … Republicans have struggled to fundraise in recent months, and now they just happen to be pulling ad buys in battleground states where the Republican Senate candidates face tough elections. And with the Senate majority up for grabs, no less.

I'll let you decide how to interpret the NRSC's move.

Regardless, Arizona GOP Senate nominee Blake Masters, Pennsylvania GOP Senate nominee Mehmet Oz and Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson — all backed by former President Donald Trump — are presumably losing out on the ad cuts.

The NRSC’s decision probably won’t instill much confidence in the GOP candidates of the affected states. Each of them has been having a rough go at their elections so far. 

Masters is polling behind Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Kelly. Here he is speaking at a recent event in Phoenix, forgetting which of his right-wing talking points to cite.

Oz, the celebrity doctor, is running a campaign that is, sadly for him, becoming a national laughingstock

And Johnson, who’s embraced extreme views on banning abortion and conspiracy theories about the 2020 election, is polling behind his usual averages and is at risk of losing to his Democratic challenger, Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, this fall.

We’re still months out from November. Each of these GOP candidates could still pull out a victory. But it’s a bad sign when your supporters start hedging their bets so close to Election Day.