According to information obtained by Breitbart News, the Senate Leadership Fund has spent $2.5 million on advertising for next month’s U.S. Senate Republican primary runoff in Alabama.
The runoff features former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore and Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL), the two top vote-getters in the Republican primary held earlier this month in the Yellowhammer State.
Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC backed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), supported Strange in the primary and spent at least $4.2 million on his behalf according to published reports.
The lion’s share of SLF’s expenditures for the runoff, roughly $2.3 million, was spent on broadcast TV advertising in the lead up to the September 26 contest in the Birmingham, Dothan, Huntsville, Mobile, Montgomery and Columbus, GA markets. The remainder of the spending was divided among cable TV, satellite and radio advertising.
SLF’s spending hasn’t meant dominance for Strange. In the Republican primary held August 15, Strange finished second with 33 percent of the vote, behind Moore, who earned 39 percent.
An analysis showed Strange and his allies spent $30.24 per vote on advertising, while Moore spent only $1.77 per vote.
During the primary, the bulk of the advertising on Strange’s behalf was in the form of attack ads aimed at Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), who finished a distant third in the primary with 20 percent of the vote.
That advertising combined with an endorsement from President Donald Trump in the late stages of the primary campaign were two of the key components of Strange’s success.
To date, head-to-head polling for the runoff is mixed. A survey conducted by Harper Polling released Tuesday showed a margin of just two points in Moore’s favor. Another from JMC Analytics out last week had Moore up with a 19-point lead over Strange. Another poll from OpinionSavvy indicated a similar margin.
All of the major polls, however, indicate Moore has the lead in the race.
Thus far in 2017, this special election to fill the U.S. Senate seat previously held by Jeff Sessions has been one of SLF’s top priorities.
The Federal Election Commission’s website shows this contest to be the super PAC’s biggest expenditure, far surpassing what it has spent attacking vulnerable incumbent Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO), both of who are up for reelection in next year’s midterms.
Strange and Moore are competing for the Republican nod and the winner will face Democratic nominee former Clinton U.S. Attorney Doug Jones in the general election in December.
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor