Group spending nearly $4 million on anti-Bayh ads
WASHINGTON — A group with ties to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is spending nearly $4 million on fall ads to try to prevent Evan Bayh from taking back his old Senate seat.
That’s on top of the $1 million the Senate Leadership Fund has already spent on the general election race, and the roughly $800,000 the group spent to help Rep. Todd Young win the GOP primary.
The Senate Leadership Fund is a super PAC created to help Republicans keep control of the Senate.
The group on Friday placed $960,000 in ads each week for the last three weeks of September and the first week of October.
The ads are running statewide — some on broadcast TV and some only on cable channels.
Indiana has already seen the fourth-highest amount of general election ads for a Senate race through mid-August, according to an independent report released Wednesday.
Bayh’s side paid for $3 million of those ads, and Young or his backers paid for $2.1 million.
That calculation from the Wesleyan Media Project report was based on data provided by Kantar Media/CMAG, which tracks broadcast television, national network and national cable television advertising.
Independent expenditure reports filed with the Federal Election Commission show the campaign arm of Senate Republicans, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, has spent $664,718 on ads against the former governor and senator.
Freedom Partners Action Fund, the super PAC associated with the political network overseen by brothers Charles and David Koch, has spent more than $1 million on television and digital ads against Bayh.
Americans for Prosperity, which also is backed by the Koch brothers, has spent more than $92,000 on phone banks and other canvassing expenses. The group also is holding events around the state to talk about Bayh’s voting record.
The campaign arm of Senate Democrats has spent more than $1 million on ads attacking Young.
National political handicappers rate Indiana’s Senate seat, which is being vacated by retiring Republican Sen. Dan Coats, as one of the most likely to switch political parties.
The outcome will help determine which party controls the Senate.
Spending by outside groups in all Senate races is at an all-time high, according to the Wesleyan Media Project. Outside spending made up just less than half of all airings through mid-August, although the share in Indiana was just less than 20 percent.
Contact Maureen Groppe at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter: @mgroppe.