This morning the University of North Florida released a poll that showed Rep. Val Demings beating Senator Marco Rubio by four points in November. Not to put too fine a point on it, but that is nuts for a candidate whom oddsmakers give less than a 20 percent shot at knocking out an incumbent Republican, particularly in a state which went convincingly for Trump in 2020. But in fact it's the third poll in a month which shows the Orlando Democrat tied or better with the thirsty Republican. And she's not the only one outperforming expectations in the upcoming Senate races.
Recent polling has Rep. Tim Ryan competitive with JD Vance in Ohio, Senator Raphael Warnock holding his own against Herschel Walker in Georgia (even as Stacey Abrams looks increasingly weak against Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp), and former North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley just about tied with Rep. Ted Budd. And that's before we even get to Pennsylvania, where Oz is visiting fictional grocery stores and threatening blunts for everyone if John Fetterman wins, or Arizona, where astronaut Senator Mark Kelly appears to have a double-digit lead over Peter Thiel's sock puppet Blake Masters and the state party has been taken over by weirdos who got bounced out of the bar on Tatooine. Even Nevada's Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, widely considered the most vulnerable incumbent, has maintained a slim lead over Republican challenger Adam Laxalt.
Thanks, Donald Trump! No, really. Because, with the exception of Little Marco, every one of these weirdos comes to the dance courtesy of the former president. And those are expensive tickets!
As Politico reports today, the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) is short on cash and cannot afford to cough up to defend seats in places they shouldn't have had to spend any money on in the first place. And the fact that these political novices are shit fundraisers ain't helping either.
In the second quarter, Tim Ryan raised $9 million, which was four times as much as Vance pulled in. Walker did better, pulling in $5.5 million during the same time period, but still got his ass kicked by Warnock, who raked in $13.6 million. Ted Budd's getting similarly walloped by Beasley, as is Masters by Kelly, and Laxalt by Cortez-Masto.
Which means that Democratic candidates are raising enough to pay for ads on their own dime, while Republicans have to look to the party apparatus to buy time.
Since Aug. 1, the NRSC has cut ad buys in the battleground states of Pennsylvania ($7.5 million), Arizona ($3.5 million), Wisconsin ($2.5 million) and Nevada ($1.5 million), according to the ad tracking service AdImpact. Separately, a Democratic source tracking advertising buys estimated roughly $10.5 million in cuts by the NRSC since the first of the month.
“People are asking, ‘What the hell is going on?’” said one Republican strategist working on Senate races. “Why are we cutting in August? I’ve never seen it like this before.”
That's a shame dot gif.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) has $53.5 million of cash on hand, compared to the NRSC’s $28.5 million, and there is no "alternative math" that makes that work in the GOP's favor.
“While Rick Scott’s failed leadership of the NRSC continues to be one of Senate Democrats’ greatest assets, we know McConnell’s super PAC will have significant resources in the weeks ahead and we are continuing to take nothing for granted in each of our battleground races," DSCC spokesperson David Bergstein told Politico.
TL, DR? Dems in array! So much array you're going to get tired of arraying! So let's cut the weeping and wailing about the midterms and get to work.
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