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GOP Senate super PAC spends millions on voter turnout
By James Arkin
The top Republican Senate super PAC invested heavily in get-out-the-vote efforts in eight battleground Senate races this election, fortifying the group’s usual heavy spending on TV ads.
Senate Leadership Fund, the super PAC linked to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, spent $3.5 million on turning out Republican supporters in eight races, focusing on robocalls, live calls, text messages and digital ads to help drive voters to the polls. The spending was in Arizona, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Tennessee and West Virginia.
“Most of these races are going to come down to turnout, and we are doing everything we can to make sure our voters turn out,” said Billy McBeath, digital director for SLF.
SLF invested nearly $2 million in GOTV-focused digital ads. The heaviest spending came in four races totaling more than $300,000: Indiana and Missouri, where Republicans are aiming to topple Democratic incumbents, and Tennessee and Arizona, where they are hoping to hold open seats follow retirements by GOP senators. The Arizona investment came through Defend Arizona, an affiliated super PAC.
SLF also invested six figures on digital ads in Nevada, where it was working to reelect GOP Sen. Dean Heller, and five figures in Montana, North Dakota and West Virginia, three Democratic-held seats. The digital ad spending came in addition to millions SLF spent on TV in the same set of battleground races throughout the cycle.
The group also invested $1.8 million in phone calls and text messages to voters across those 8 states, including robocalls from President Trump. They invested most heavily in Indiana, where they spent more than $600,000 for more than 1.3 million voter contacts, and in Tennessee, where they spent nearly $500,000 for 1.5 million contacts. In total, the group reached nearly 5.5 million contacts across the 8 states.