Our new book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. Among other things, it discusses the state of the parties. The state of the GOP is not good.
Republican Senate hopefuls are getting crushed on airwaves across the country while their national campaign fund is pulling ads and running low on cash — leading some campaign advisers to ask where all the money went and to demand an audit of the committee’s finances, according to Republican strategists involved in the discussions.
In a highly unusual move, the National Republican Senatorial Committee this week canceled bookings worth about $10 million, including in the critical states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Arizona. A spokesman said the NRSC is not abandoning those races but prioritizing ad spots that are shared with campaigns and benefit from discounted rates. Still, the cancellations forfeit cheaper prices that came from booking early, and better budgeting could have covered both.
“The fact that they canceled these reservations was a huge problem — you can’t get them back,” said one Senate Republican strategist, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal matters. “You can’t win elections if you don’t have money to run ads.”
The NRSC’s retreat came after months of touting record fundraising, topping $173 million so far this election cycle, according to Federal Election Commission disclosures. But the committee has burned through nearly all of it, with the NRSC’s cash on hand dwindling to $28.4 million by the end of June.
Since Donald Trump first suggested the 2020 election might be stolen, Republicans have latched onto the claim. Here’s how it became a litmus test for the party. (Video: JM Rieger/The Washington Post)
As of that month, the committee disclosed spending just $23 million on ads, with more than $21 million going into text messages and more than $12 million to American Express credit card payments, whose ultimate purpose isn’t clear from the filings. The committee also spent at least $13 million on consultants, $9 million on debt payments and more than $7.9 million renting mailing lists, campaign finance data show.
“If they were a corporation, the CEO would be fired and investigated,” said a national Republican consultant working on Senate races. “The way this money has been burned, there needs to be an audit or investigation because we’re not gonna take the Senate now and this money has been squandered. It’s a rip-off.”
The NRSC’s chairman, Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, has already taken heat from fellow Republicans for running ads featuring him on camera and releasing his own policy agenda that became a Democratic punching bag — leading to jokes that “NRSC” stood for “National Rick Scott Committee” in a bid to fuel his own presumed presidential ambitions.
New: Rick Scott is spending part of his congressional recess on a luxury yacht in Italy w/ his family while Republicans face cash problems & rough headlines about their midterm chances— Alayna Treene (@alaynatreene) August 23, 2022
He also recently attacked Biden for vacationing in Delaware https://t.co/tVxcr8pdio