Georgia Senate runoff spending tops $120M already in 'historic spend cycle'
Spending likely to double ahead of Jan. 5 twin elections, where the Senate majority is at stake
With the Senate majority up for grabs in Georgia’s runoff elections, money is flooding into the twin showdowns.
In the two weeks since Election Day, the campaigns of the four candidates, the national political parties, and outside groups such as super PACs have already shelled out nine figures to reserve time to run TV commercials in the Jan. 5 elections, according to AdImpact, a top national ad tracking firm formerly known as Advertising Analytics.
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"With control of the Senate at stake, total ad expenditures for both Georgia runoffs will top $120 million as of today since the general election," AdImpact vice president John Link told Fox News on Wednesday.
And AdImpact says that number will likely more than double by early January.
The biggest spender so far is appointed Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who has reserved more than $40 million in ad time. Her Democratic opponent, Raphael Warnock, has put nearly $24 million toward ad reservations.
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In the other Senate contest, GOP incumbent Sen. David Perdue has so far reserved nearly $24 million in air time to run campaign commercials. That’s nearly double the $12.8 million spent so far by Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff to air TV spots.
Among the other big spenders are three major super PACs. The pro-Republican Senate Leadership Fund and its allied group American Crossroads are dishing out $9 million for their initial ad buys backing Loeffler and Perdue. And the Senate Majority Fund is spending an initial $5 million to run commercials supporting Ossoff and Warnock.
Link says the massive spending in Georgia will cap the already record-breaking $8.3 billion spent in the 2020 election cycle to run ads.
“These momentous spend levels will place a final exclamation point on this historic spend cycle,” he said.
The current balance of power for the next Senate – coming out of this month’s elections – is 50 Republicans and 48 Democrats. That means the Democrats must win both of Georgia’s runoff elections to make it a 50-50 Senate, in which Vice President-elect Kamala Harris would be the tie-breaking vote, giving her party a razor-thin majority in the chamber.
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In Georgia, where state law dictates a runoff if no candidate reaches 50% of the vote, Perdue narrowly missed avoiding a runoff. He currently stands at 49.75% in the vote count. Ossoff, trails by roughly 87,000 votes.
In the other race, Loeffler captured nearly 26% of the vote in a whopping 20-candidate special election to fill the final two years of the term of former GOP Sen. Johnny Isakson. Warnock won nearly 33% of the vote.