Republicans deny NYT report GOP Senate campaign arm is slashing ad buys in key battleground states

The New York Times is reporting that the National Republican Senatorial Committee “has slashed its television ad reservations in three critical battleground states for the fall, a likely sign of financial troubles headed into the peak of the 2022 midterm election season.”

At the same time, NRSC communications director Chris Hartline pushed back in a tweet to say this is a “false” claim, explaining that it boils down to simple accounting.

“This is false, as I told Shane,” Hartline tweeted, speaking of NY Times national political reporter Shane Goldmacher, the author of the story. “The NRSC is not cancelling spending. There is money being moved from the I.E. side back to the NRSC side of the wall. Nothing in this story is accurate. The NRSC has already spent $36 million on TV and has tens of millions more reserved.”

Goldmacher included a statement from Hartline in the piece, with the NRSC spokesman saying, “Nothing has changed about our commitment to winning in all of our target states.”

Hartline would add, according to the Times, that the Republican Senate campaign arm had “been spending earlier than ever before to help our candidates get their message out and define the Democrats for their radical agenda. We’ve been creative in how we’re spending our money and will continue to make sure that every dollar spent by the N.R.S.C. is done in the most efficient and effective way possible.”

The Times article reported that the NRSC “has cut more than $5 million in Pennsylvania, including its reservations in the Philadelphia media market, according to two media-tracking sources.”

The RealClearPolitics average shows Trump-endorsed Dr. Mehmet Oz trailing the Democratic nominee, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, by almost nine points there.

“In Wisconsin, some ads were being reserved in Milwaukee, for instance, though significantly less than what had been canceled in Madison and Green Bay, as of Monday afternoon,” the Times reported, adding that in Arizona, “all reservations after Sept. 30 have been cut in Phoenix and Tucson, the state’s only two major media markets, amounting to roughly $2 million more.”

Incumbent Sen. Ron Johnson is being challenged by Democratic nominee Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes in Wisconsin, and Trump-backed venture capitalist Blake Masters is up against Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Kelly in Arizona.

Despite Hartline’s denial, Politico claimed “panic” has broken out among GOP campaigns.

“As midterm election campaigns heat up in the Senate’s top battlegrounds, the National Republican Senatorial Committee is canceling millions of dollars of ad spending, sending GOP campaigns and operatives into a panic and upending the committee’s initial spending plan,” the political news website reported.

The article quoted an anonymous Republican strategist working on Senate races saying, “I’ve never seen it like this before.” Another anonymous Republican strategist called the cuts “unreal.”

Citing second-quarter filings, Politico said that the DSCC “had nearly twice the cash on hand as its Republican counterpart, $53.5 million to the NRSC’s $28.5 million.”

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