DSCC Spends $117K on Two-Week Ad Blitz to Save Menendez's Seat

Sen. Bob Menendez / Getty Images
August 27, 2018

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is spending $117,000 on ads over the coming weeks to support embattled Sen. Robert Menendez (D., N.J) against Republican businessman Bob Hugin, even as Democrats hope to pick up seats in red states such as Texas.

National Republican Senatorial Committee executive director Chris Hansen noted on Twitter that the DSCC was spending $117,000 in conjunction with Menendez's campaign between Monday and Sept. 9 on several television channels, including BET, CNN, HGTV, and Bravo.

"The DSCC is starting to spend in conjunction with @BobMenendezNJ in a race he is very much in danger of losing. This will no doubt trigger a dozen more Beto think pieces," Hansen tweeted.

The reference to "Beto think pieces" comes from the influx of favorable profiles and articles on Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D., Texas), an underdog Senate candidate challenging incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas).

Emerson Polling tweeted Monday morning that Cruz and O'Rourke are in a "statistical tie," but Menendez and Sen. Bill Nelson (D., Fla.) are drawing on party funds to hold onto their seats and prevent Democrats' minority from shrinking.

The NRSC mocked the DSCC's campaign investments by saying, "it’s no surprise red state Dems are acting like it’s the Hunger Games for Chuck’s money."

"With the DSCC and outside groups having to spend big in expensive states like New Jersey and Florida, it’s no surprise red state Dems are acting like it’s the Hunger Games for Chuck’s money," NRSC communications director Katie Martin said. "Every dime and second spent trying to defend a corrupt politician like Bob Menendez in New Jersey means resources aren’t going to states President Trump carried by double digits."

Martin's quote reflects what was reported by Politico Monday, which showed Nelson's campaign struggling to keep up with Gov. Rick Scott's fundraising numbers. The DSCC is planning to loosen its purse-strings to help Nelson retain his seat.

Menendez, who escaped conviction in a six-week federal corruption trial last fall after it ended in a mistrial, had a lackluster performance in New Jersey's Democratic primary back in June. That raised concerns about his prospects of winning in the general election this November, despite the Democratic Party's usual dominance of New Jersey.