A Republican political action committee with connections to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is cutting funding for New Hampshire GOP Senate contender Don Bolduc, despite polls indicating a close race.
Senate Leadership Fund (SLF), a McConnell-backed super PAC, said Friday it would halt $5.6 million in TV ads for the final few weeks of the race.
SLF President Steven Law told The New York Times, “As the circuit winds down, we’re moving funds to where they may be most impactful to achieve a majority.”
SLF’s pullout from New Hampshire emerges weeks after the NRSC yanked almost $3 million in ad spending in the state, diverting the funds to Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Nevada.
BIG Senate development: Spokesman for Senate Leadership Fund confirms the GOP super PAC canceling $5.6M in New Hampshire ads for Don Bolduc. All but throwing in the towel in a swing state.
Money being moved into a new battleground TBD…
— Josh Kraushaar (@JoshKraushaar) October 21, 2022
NRSC spokesperson Chris Hartline told Politico when the SLF finances were still scheduled for New Hampshire, “We’re pleased to see GOP external powers showing up in a big fashion to knock down Maggie Hassan.”
Bolduc, who previously stated he wouldn’t endorse McConnell for Majority Whip if appointed to the Senate, seemed to brush off the reports, saying it doesn’t alter what his movement is doing.
Despite SLF and the NRSC essentially tossing in the towel on Bolduc’s candidacy, recent surveys from more trustworthy polling sources have shown the contest between Bolduc and sitting Democrat Hassan is a tight one.
Per a poll conducted towards the conclusion of September by The Trafalgar Group, Hassan enjoys a modest, approximately three-point edge over Bolduc (48.2 – 45%), which is just outside of the survey’s 2.9 percent error margin.
An internal study published by the Bolduc campaign indicates similar results, with Hassan barely leading Bolduc by two points (49 – 47%).
Politics Within Politics
Over the final few weeks of New Hampshire’s Republican primary, a McConnell-affiliated entity, called the White Mountain PAC, reportedly spent a fortune in attack advertising against Bolduc to encourage GOP primary delegates to nominate Chuck Morse.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer invested a lot of money in the state’s GOP primary to increase Bolduc’s odds of winning the candidacy. Democrats hoped the retired U.S. Army general would’ve been simpler to defeat in the election.
McConnell’s bid to discredit a strong, “America First” Senate contender is not confined to New Hampshire, though. McConnell’s SLF PAC has withdrawn practically all financial support from Arizona, where Blake Masters is running against Democrat Sen. Mark Kelly.
The @LeaderMcConnell Senate Leadership Fund still hasn't spent a single dime in AZ — a tight race where Democrats are outspending Republicans. It's the ONLY race SLF hasn't engaged on. The GOP should remember this type of petty political malfeasance when they pick their leader.
— Christopher Bedford (@CBedfordDC) October 24, 2022
SLF canceled $10 million in planned TV commercials for Masters last month. Masters has sworn not to back McConnell if he defeats Kelly next month.
McConnell also diverted funds to Alaska’s Sen. Lisa Murkowski to help him retain party leadership.
Murkowski’s seat is solid for Republicans moving into November, but she faces a fight from Kelly Tshibaka, who has ex-President Trump’s backing. Ignoring criticism from GOP factions in Alaska, SLF invested $5 million to preserve Murkowski.
Murkowski hit the headlines for declaring she would vote for Democrat Rep. Mary Peltola after Sarah Palin fell to her last month, owing to Alaska’s ranked-choice voting system.
This article appeared in The Political Globe and has been published here with permission.