When it was reported this week that the National Republican Senatorial Committee was slashing TV ad budgets in some of the most competitive U.S. Senate races, it made sense on some level. The Republicans are running terrible candidates who aren’t exactly attracting fundraising momentum. And Donald Trump’s toxic unpopularity has put a damper on all things GOP when it comes to general election.
But even with these things factored in, how could the NRSC be this broke? It’s still only August. And if anything, when the purse strings tighten, you start by cutting ad budgets in the least competitive states. If it’s this early and the NRSC is already cutting ad buys in the highest profile Senate races, something doesn’t add up.
If it all feels suspicious to you, it turns out you’re not the only one. Some Republican strategists are now sounding the alarm about how the NRSC can be this broke and are demanding an audit, per the Washington Post. To give you an idea of how absurd the NRSC’s finances are, it somehow racked up $12 million in American Express credit card payments, while only spending $23 million on television ads. In other words, a huge chunk of the money that’s coming in is going out the door on… credit card purchases?
One big clue may be that the NRSC is run by Republican Senator Rick Scott. He’s best known for having defrauded Medicaid out of billions of dollars when he was a health care industry CEO. Now that he’s in charge of the NRSC, the NRSC’s books predictably come off as a fraudulent mess. Scott is also closely aligned with Donald Trump, who has long viewed the Republican Party as his personal piggy bank. So where did the money go? In any case, it creates an opportunity for the Democrats, whose opponents are facing a cash crunch. Here are the nine Democratic Senate candidates running in the most competitive races. Donate, volunteer, and sign up for more information from all nine of them:
Pennsylvania – Ohio – Florida – North Carolina – Wisconsin – Arizona – Georgia – New Hampshire – Nevada
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report