Politics

Super PAC Spends More to Defend Democrats Than Attack Republicans

Senate Majority PAC is the biggest super PAC in the country

Democratic activists have dreams of winning majorities in both the House and Senate this year, but at least in the Senate, Democratic donors are largely playing defense.

That’s a function of the congressional map, in which Democrats and their independent allies are defending 24 seats, while only nine Republican-held seats are in play. Many more of the Democratic seats are also in Republican-leaning states, while most of the Republicans up for re-election are in safe seats.

The biggest super PAC in the country is the Senate Majority PAC, which has raised $56.6 million so far to help elect Democrats. Of the eight races in which it’s most involved, seven feature Democratic incumbents seeking re-election while only one, in Nevada, has Democrats hoping to pick up a seat.

The candidate in need of the most help, judging by the PAC’s giving, is Claire McCaskill of Missouri. She has a mostly liberal voting record despite a constituency that supported President Donald Trump in 2016 by 18.5 percentage points. She faces a tough vote this fall on a new Supreme Court nominee.

The PAC is spending more money ($4.6 million) against GOP Attorney General Josh Hawley, who is seeking his party’s nomination to take on McCaskill, than it is for McCaskill herself ($1.4 million), an indication that it feels Hawley could pose a formidable challenge if he wins the August primary.

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