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Republicans winning the ad-spending race

The Morning Line

Today in the Morning Line:

  • Overall spending surpasses $1 billion for 2014
  • Republican outside groups have outspent Democratic ones by 47 percent
  • $169 million spent on TV ads between North Carolina, Colorado and Iowa
  • Republicans have outspent Democrats and their allies in seven of top 10 Senate races

All about the money, money: Conservative outside groups are outspending Democratic-leaning ones, $191 million to $130 million this cycle, the Washington Post’s Matea Gold reported Monday. Overall spending on everything from ads to keeping the lights on, combining both House and Senate races, has hit $1.2 billion, as of Oct. 12. Outside groups, excluding party committees, have spent $330 million and climbing this cycle. That’s more money than spent by these groups in any election except the 2012 presidential election. Dark-money groups, who don’t disclose their donors, like Americans for Prosperity — the conservative political advocacy group founded by the Koch Brothers — and the liberal group Patriot Majority PAC are not included in the totals because of how they report. Dark money has made up more than $100 million this cycle and that could double by Election Day, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

So where’s all that money going and who’s benefitting? Last week, we showed where the money WILL be going with the ad reservations over the last month. Democrats were pouring money into their “firewall” states of North Carolina, Colorado and Iowa, and outspending Republicans on the air. Today, we can show you how much has been spent OVERALL, and, not surprisingly those three states have seen the most ad spending — some $169 million been between them, according to SMG Delta, a Republican ad-tracking firm. North Carolina is tops with nearly $66 million spent. Incumbent Sen. Kay Hagan and pro-Democratic groups have edged Republican challenger Thom Tillis and his allies, $36.3 million to $29.6 million. Colorado is second with more than $52 million spent, but there, Republicans are narrowly outspending Democrats. More than $50 million has been spent in Iowa, which is incredible considering its low-dollar ad markets. There, Republicans again have had the narrow edge. Of the top 10 Senate races with the most TV ad spending, Republican candidates, and the groups that support them, have outspent Democrats in all but three states:

  1. North Carolina: $65.9 million ($36.3 million D, $29.6 million R)
  2. Colorado: $52.4 million ($27.2 million R, $25.2 million D)
  3. Iowa: $50.3 million ($25.5 million R, $24.9 million D)
  4. Louisiana: $41.6 million ($22.6 million R, $19 million D)
  5. Kentucky: $39.1 million ($24.6 million R, $14.5 million D)
  6. Arkansas: $38.9 million ($22.5 million R, $16.4 million D)
  7. Michigan: $28.9 million ($15.4 million D, $13.4 million R)
  8. Alaska: $23.4 million ($12.4 million R, $11 million D)
  9. Georgia: $15.5 million ($8.2 million R, $7.3 million D)
  10. New Hampshire: $15.3 million ($7.7 million D, $7.6 million R)

Daily Presidential Trivia: On this day in 1890, future President Dwight David Eisenhower was born. What did Eisenhower say, “was one of the greatest disappointments of my life, maybe my greatest”? Be the first to tweet us the correct answer using #PoliticsTrivia and you’ll get a Morning Line shout-out. Congratulations to Ed Byrnes (@Ed455B) for guessing Friday’s trivia: Which president was responsible for the U.S. taking over construction of the canal? The answer was: Teddy Roosevelt.

  • President Obama will attend a meeting at Andrews Air Force Base hosted by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey Tuesday to discuss the coalition efforts in the ongoing campaign against the Islamic State. Later, Mr. Obama will attend a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee event in the Washington, D.C., area.

  • Ebola might be creeping its way into the midterm elections with Republicans accusing the president of not doing enough to stop people from coming into the country from West Africa, and Democrats blaming Republicans for budget cuts that have hampered the CDC’s ability to respond to the crisis.

  • NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff sat down with Washington Post’s Dan Balz and Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report to get their take on where the most competitive races stand just three weeks from Election Day.

  • The New York Times’ Jonathan Martin writes that the South Dakota Senate race is now up for grabs, and no one saw it coming.

  • In the only debate of the Kentucky Senate race, held Monday night, Alison Lundergan Grimes again refused to say whom she supported for president in 2012, while Mitch McConnell tried to tie her to Democrat leadership and emphasized the power he’d have as majority leader.

  • All four Arkansas Senate candidates took to the stage in their first debate Monday night. Rep. Tom Cotton and Sen. Mark Pryor will debate solo Tuesday.

  • Republicans are pouring a lot of money into a Senate race they thought was theirs to win, but North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan seems to be hanging on.

  • A struggling Scott Brown is looking for support anywhere he can find it in New Hampshire.

  • Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., has made contraception and abortion such a central focus of his campaign that a local reporter has dubbed him “Mark Uterus.” The problem is Colorado voters believe other issues are more important this go-round.

  • Republican Gov. Rick Snyder is fighting for re-election in Michigan, a state that voted for President Obama in 2008 and 2012. His opponent, Democratic challenger Mark Schauer, is using Snyder’s economic record to weaken the incumbent. Christy McDonald of Detroit Public Television reported on the race for NewsHour.

  • In one of the most hotly contested House races this cycle, California Republican Carl DeMaio could be in trouble after a former staffer went on CNN and accused him of sexual harassment.

  • The DCCC is putting some last minute money into the seat Iowa Rep. Bruce Braley is vacating to ensure it stays in Democratic hands.

  • Voter ID laws are supposedly put in place to help combat voter fraud, but often the laws do not address fraud at all.

  • Mitt Romney traveled to the Hawkeye State to campaign for GOP Senate candidate Joni Ernst, but he encountered a lot of Republicans more interested in getting him to run for president again.

  • Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Sheldon Whitehouse, who are often on opposite sides of the party, are teaming up on climate change.

  • Keep an eye on the Rundown blog for breaking news throughout the day, our home page for show segments, and follow @NewsHour for the latest.


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Questions or comments? Email Domenico Montanaro at dmontanaro-at-newshour-dot-org or Rachel Wellford at rwellford-at-newshour-dot-org.

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