Senate G.O.P. Campaign Arm Slashes TV Ad Buys in Three States

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The Republicans’ Senate campaign 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.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee has cut more than $5 million in Pennsylvania, including its reservations in the Philadelphia media market, according to two media-tracking sources.

Reservations in Wisconsin, in the Madison and Green Bay markets, have also been curtailed, by more than $2 million. And 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.

So far around $10 million had been canceled as of midday Monday, though more changes to the fall reservations were in progress. The states where ad reservations have been canceled are home to three of the nation’s most competitive Senate contests.

In a statement, Chris Hartline, the communications director for the N.R.S.C., said, “Nothing has changed about our commitment to winning in all of our target states.”

Mr. Hartline added that the committee 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.”

After this article was published online, Mr. Hartline called it “false” on Twitter and said that “there is money being moved from the I.E. side” — independent expenditures that cannot be coordinated with campaigns — “back to the N.R.S.C. side of the wall.”

He declined to say how much was being rebooked.

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.

In Pennsylvania, the Senate Republican super PAC, the Senate Leadership Fund, recently announced it was adding $9.5 million to its fall reservation in the closely watched race between Mehmet Oz, the Republican, and Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, the Democrat. The super PAC moved up the beginning of its ad buy by three weeks, to Aug. 19, a decision that may have eased pressure on the party committee to keep its reservation.

As online fund-raising has slowed for Republicans in recent months, affecting both candidates and party committees, the party is increasingly dependent on major super PACs in the battle for the Senate. Entering July, the Senate Republican super PAC had nearly $40 million more cash on hand than the Democratic Senate super PAC.

The Senate party committee said it had already helped fund $17 million in “coordinated” and “hybrid” ads with Republican senators and Senate candidates in Ohio, Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Florida and Wisconsin, according to the committee, and had spent $36 million on television overall.

The N.R.S.C. entered July with $28.5 million in the bank and has millions of dollars reserved in other battleground states.

A person familiar with the committee’s planning said some of the money saved by canceling reservations now would eventually be used to rebook advertising time in coordination with the Senate campaigns, which would help stretch the group’s dollars further because candidates are entitled to lower ad prices. Some of the new reservations were already being made on Monday.

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