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Image: Blake Masters
Blake Masters listens to supporters during a campaign event on July 30, 2022 in Phoenix, Ariz.Brandon Bell / Getty Images file

Midterm elections roundup: GOP group cuts ads in Arizona Senate race

Senate Leadership Fund cut the rest of its ad reservations in the race.

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Arizona GOP Senate candidate Blake Masters’ push to defeat Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly took a hit Tuesday, when the major GOP super PAC that plays in Senate races cut the rest of its ad spending in the state. A spokesperson for Senate Leadership Fund confirmed an Axios report that the group cut $9.6 million — the rest of its ad reservation — in the Senate race after initially cutting its September spending last month. 

SLF president Steven Law said other “Republican outside forces” pledging to help spend to defeat Kelly “allows us to pursue offensive opportunities.” This week the group added to its ad buys in Georgia, New Hampshire and Nevada.

While a handful of GOP outside groups are still planning to spend in the race, Democrats have a massive advantage in ad reservations so far, per AdImpact. Kelly and aligned Democratic groups have $34.4 million on the airwaves through Election Day, while Masters and aligned Republican groups have reserved $6.8 million, per AdImpact. 

Masters is getting a last-minute boost from some fundraisers. CNBC’s Brian Schwartz reports that billionaire Peter Thiel is hosting a fundraiser next week for Masters, who served as chief operating officer for Thiel’s investment firm and ran his foundation. It remains to be seen whether Thiel, who spent millions to help Masters in the primary through a super PAC, will open up his own wallet again and spend millions to defeat Kelly. 

Elsewhere on the campaign trail:

Florida Senate: Republican Sen. Marco Rubio leads Democratic Rep. Val Demings, 45%-41%, according to a new USA Today/Suffolk University poll of likely voters

Georgia Senate: Republican nominee Herschel Walker will travel to Washington for a fundraiser with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday, Punchbowl News reports. A new CBS News poll of likely voters found Walker at 49% vs. Sen. Raphael Warnock’s 51%.

Pennsylvania Senate: Republican nominee Mehmet Oz is up with a new spot hitting Democratic nominee John Fetterman on crime and taxes, but through the lens of accusing him of “dodging debates.” 

Wisconsin Senate: Democratic nominee Mandela Barnes scrubbed the names of two law enforcement officers from his website after previously listing them as endorsers of his campaign, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports. 

Nevada Senate/Governor: Two debates scheduled in Nevada’s marquee midterm races have been scrapped after both Republican nominees — Adam Laxalt and Joe Lombardo — did not RSVP by the deadline, the Las-Vegas Sun reports. 

Florida Governor: Three migrants who were flown from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, last week are suing GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis, who organized the flight. And NBC News’ Marc Caputo and Lauren Egan report that DeSantis has kept everyone guessing on his plans for another flight. 

Meanwhile, the USA Today poll found DeSantis leading Democratic Rep. Charlie Crist, 48%-41%. 

Georgia Governor: Virginia GOP Gov. Glenn Youngkin is heading to Georgia next week to campaign with GOP Gov. Brian Kemp. It will be one of Kemp’s first campaign events in the Atlanta suburbs, per the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Pennsylvania-17: The GOP-aligned Congressional Leadership Fund’s new spot hits Democrat Chris Deluzio over a pro-Medicare for All pledge that calls the current private health care system racist, calling his solution “socialist health care.” (Deluzio’s campaign website calls for expanding Medicare “to achieve universal coverage.)