The Senate Leadership Fund (SLF), a Senate Republican-aligned Super PAC, has reserved $28 million worth of television and radio ads, which will air statewide in Ohio from Labor Day to the election, Cleveland.com first reported.
The massive reservations from the Super PAC signal they are entirely behind Trump-backed J.D. Vance, who is running against failed 2020 presidential candidate Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), and are looking to keep the Buckeye State red after the midterms, even as Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) is retiring.
The Senate Leadership Fund’s investment in the state and Vance show that the super PAC is serious about keeping the seat red. In fact, Cleveland.com pointed out that, until recently, Ohio’s race was not seen as competitive. The Cook Politicians Report rates the seat as a “Lean” Republican, meaning a GOP candidate has a better chance of winning the seat.
However, the Senate Leadership Fund’s massive investment is only ranked third in terms of the money the super PAC plans to spend across the country this cycle — though exact comparisons between spending levels in different states are tricky because each state’s media market is slightly different depending on how expensive and saturated the market is, meaning millions of dollars can go much further in some states than in others.
The Super PAC plans to spend $37.1 million in Georgia and $34.1 million in Pennsylvania, more than the amount budgeted for Ohio, while $27.6 million will be spent in North Carolina, $15.2 million in Wisconsin, $15.1 million in Nevada, and $14.4 million in Arizona.
Cleveland.com noted that the spending boost hints there is some concern among national Republicans about Ryan’s fundraising advantage in the race but that “National Republicans still say they think Vance ultimately will win in November.”
“Tim Ryan has been living a lie, spending millions unopposed to sell voters on a version of himself that doesn’t square with reality,” Steven Law, president of the Senate Leadership Fund, told Cleveland.com in a statement. “That’s about to change as Ohioans get a clear picture of the real Ryan who votes down the line with (President Joe) Biden and (U.S. House Speaker Nancy) Pelosi in Washington.”
Cleveland.com also indicated that the new ads would attempt to tie Ryan to President Joe Biden, who remains unpopular in the Buckeye State. Ryan, who has been a rubber stamp for the Democrat leadership, most recently voted for the $700 billion “Inflation Reduction” Act, which would not reduce inflation but instead spend hundreds of billions of dollars on climate change and Obamacare programs.
Breitbart News reported on Wednesday that the first poll since the unprecedented Mar-a-Lago raid from Emerson College Polling showed Vance and Republicans had overtaken Democrats in the Buckeye State. Vance led Ryan by three points, 45 percent to 42 percent among 925 general election voters.
In fact, when the voters were asked, “regardless of whom they support, which candidate they expect to win,” a majority of the respondents (52 percent) said Vance would win, compared to the 48 percent who said Ryan.