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Image: Catherine Cortez Masto
Catherine Cortez Masto arrives at the U.S. Capitol, on April 25, 2022.Graeme Sloan / Sipa USA via AP file

Some GOP Senate candidates have yet to run general election ads as Democrats spend early

While Democrats blanket the television airwaves, GOP candidates in four states haven't run any general election ads yet.

By and

Many Senate Democratic hopefuls have turned their significant cash advantage into a barrage of general election ads looking to set the stage for the fall. But in four states, Republican candidates haven't run any television ads since they won their primaries.

Democratic nominees in Ohio, Nevada, North Carolina and Pennsylvania have spent more than $12 million on television ads since their primaries, per AdImpact, a mix of positive spots aimed at boosting their own image and negative spots critical of their rivals. It's all an attempt to use their deep cash reserves to help define their competitive races now.

In Ohio, Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan has already spent $5.7 million on television ads since he won his primary, while his opponent, Republican J.D. Vance, has spent just $100,000 on digital ads.

Nevada Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto has spent $2.8 million on TV since primary day to Republican Adam Laxalt's $46,000 on digital ads only.

In North Carolina, GOP Rep. Ted Budd has not spent any campaign money on television since the May 17 primary. His campaign has spent just $23,000 on digital ads, while Democrat Cheri Beasley, the former state Supreme Court chief justice has spent $2.1 million on TV ads.

Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman has also launched TV ads in Pennsylvania, spending $1.7 million on the airwaves while Republican Mehmet Oz has spent just $18,000 on digital spots.

Also of note: In New Hampshire, where GOP voters won't pick their nominee until September, no Republican candidate has run television ads at all, while Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan has spent millions on TV.

That's not to say Democrats are shaping the discussion all by themselves — Republican outside groups and the party apparatus are filling the void with costly television campaigns carrying their party's message through the summer.

One Nation, the non-profit arm of the GOP super PAC Senate Leadership Fund, has spent a combined $8.6 million in Nevada and New Hampshire.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee has spent a combined $10.6 million on TV ads in Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire.

The committee has also teamed up with GOP candidates in Georgia, Wisconsin and Florida to launch joint TV ads.

"The NRSC has raised record amounts of money this cycle and has been spending early to define the Democrats and their record of supporting Joe Biden and his agenda 100% of the time," NRSC spokesman Chris Hartline said in a statement.

And television spending is certainly not the end-all-be-all of predicting the results in November.

But this discrepancy is one concrete implication of Democratic candidates' campaign fundraising advantage.