The biggest super PAC supporting Joe Biden’s Democratic challenge against President Trump says it will shell out nearly $65 million to run TV spots in six key battleground states through the November election.
The outside group — Priorities USA – also announced on Monday that it’s doubling its original budget of $100 million to $200 million to spend this election cycle.
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Priorities USA said it’s spending $17 million to reserve airtime for its ads in Michigan, $13 million each in Pennsylvania and Florida, $10.4 million in Wisconsin, $6.5 million in Arizona, and $4.8 million in North Carolina.
Trump narrowly captured all six states in the 2016 election, helping him win the White House in an Electoral College victory over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Trump – by thin margins — flipped Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin from blue to red for the first time more than a quarter century.
“Trump is doing everything he can to spread misinformation and block voters from hearing the truth, and we are committed to using every resource available to us to hold him accountable and elect Joe Biden the 46th President of the United States,” Priorities USA chair Guy Cecil said in a statement.
The PAC’s announcement comes as the general election air wars are starting to heat up. The group’s already spending seven figures to run a spot in key battleground states that slams the president over his response to the coronavirus pandemic. And it announced earlier this month that it reserved $17 million to run digital ads this autumn on YouTube, Hulu, and other digital outlets.
The other major super PAC backing the former vice president, Unite the Country, has also been running TV commercials in battleground states taking aim at Trump’s response to the pandemic – and the group’s currently airing a TV commercial that spotlight’s Biden’s plan to combat the coronavirus outbreak.
Unite the Country recently announced that it was teaming up with American Bridge – the organization that served as the leading pro-Democratic opposition research shop in the 2012 and 2016 presidential elections. The two groups have pledged to raise and spend at least $100 million – on polling, research, creating and running ads, and communications.
American Bridge also last week touted that it’s launching a $15 million campaign spotlighting the president’s repeated praise of China earlier this year for its response to the coronavirus outbreak.
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Their announcement came hours after the pro-Trump super PAC America First Action kicked off a $10 million broadcast and cable TV, digital and direct mail campaign portraying the former vice president as “soft” on China. The group says its media effort will run through the end of May in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Nearly all of the TV air wars action has been by the super PACs to date. The Trump reelection team has mostly spent their ad money on digital buys.
But the Trump re-election campaign and the Republican National Committee (RNC) currently boasts a $240 million war chest — and will have a big fundraising advantage over Biden and the Democratic National Committee in the months to come.
Cecil noted that “the Trump campaign is sitting on hundreds of millions of dollars and his super PAC is already on air against Joe Biden. We won’t let our nominee face that alone. Priorities has been outspending Trump in key battleground states for nine months, and by placing $65 million in TV reservations, we are committing to take the fight to Trump through Election Day.”
Priorities USA was formed in 2011 to support President Obama’s 2012 reelection and served as the main super PAC for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.