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Newsom holds ad-spending edge in California recall's final days

First Read is your briefing from "Meet the Press" and the NBC Political Unit on the day's most important political stories and why they matter.
Image: Gavin Newsom
Gavin Newsom speaks during a news conference at Manny's on Aug. 13, 2021 in San Francisco, Calif.Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

WASHINGTON — With two weeks to go until the Sept. 14 California recall election, Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom and his allies maintain a significant advertising advantage over recall supporters.

Over the past month (Aug. 1 to Aug. 30), Newsom & Co. have outspent Republicans over the airwaves and digitally, $12.8 million to $5.0 million, according to ad-spending numbers from AdImpact.

And in future spending (Aug. 30 to Sept. 14), Team Newsom has $7.0 million booked, versus $2.3 million for Republicans.

Republicans have made up ground in the ad spending since the beginning of the month, when they were getting outspent by more than a 200-to-1 margin from July 1 to Aug. 2.

Much of the new GOP spending has come from Republican replacement frontrunner Larry Elder, who has dropped $2.6 million in ads over the past month.

Still, Newsom’s spending edge is striking — especially in such an expensive state like California.

And especially when his chief weakness in this race is waking up a relatively sleepy Democratic electorate.

Biggest recall advertisers from Aug. 1 to Aug. 30 (per AdImpact)

  • Stop the Republican Recall of Gavin Newsom (D): $12.6 million
  • Larry Elder (R): $2.6 million
  • John Cox (R): $1.3 million
  • Kevin Faulconer (R): $640,000
  • Rescue California (R): $185,000

Report: Pentagon warned on “mass casualty event” before attack

Turning to the situation in Afghanistan, Politico is reporting this morning that Pentagon officials had warned of a mass casualty event 24 hours before Thursday’s deadly attack outside of the Kabul airport.

“Speaking from a secure video conference room on the third floor of the Pentagon at 8 a.m. Wednesday — or 4:30 p.m. in Kabul — Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin instructed more than a dozen of the department’s top leaders around the world to make preparations for an imminent ‘mass casualty event’ according to classified detailed notes of the gathering shared with POLITICO.”

More: “During the meeting, Gen. Mark Milley, the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned of ‘significant’ intelligence indicating that the Islamic State’s Afghanistan affiliate, ISIS-K, was planning a ‘complex attack,’ the notes quoted him as saying.”

Drone strike in Kabul

Meanwhile, NBC News reports that U.S. forces “conducted a drone strike against an ISIS-K target in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Sunday, U.S. Central Command said.”

But the Washington Post writes that the drone strike killed 10 civilians, including children, family members said.

Tweet of the day

Data Download: The numbers you need to know today

1,200: The approximate number of people evacuated from Kabul on Sunday.

1 million: The number of people in Louisiana who lost power during the devastating Hurricane Ida.

8: The number of electricity transmission lines in New Orleans that went down during the storm as the entire city lost power.

150 mph: The estimated wind speed of the hurricane when it made landfall Sunday afternoon near Port Fourchon, Louisiana.

38,884,830: The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States, per the most recent data from NBC News and health officials. (That’s 305,345 more since Friday morning.)

641,002: The number of deaths in the United States from the virus so far, per the most recent data from NBC News. (That’s 2,598 more since Friday morning).

368,863,734: The number of vaccine doses administered in the U.S., per the CDC. (That’s 3,096,060 more since Friday morning.)

52.3 percent: The share of all Americans who are fully vaccinated, per the CDC.

63.3 percent: The share of all U.S. adults at least 18 years of age who are fully vaccinated, per CDC.

98,000: The estimated number of additional deaths from Covid between now and December in the U.S., according to a model from the University of Washington, a number that would drop with more widespread adoption of masking.

ICYMI: What else is happening in the world

The International Atomic Energy Agency believes North Korea has restarted its nuclear reactor in what it called a “deeply troubling” development.

Top Israeli and Palestinian officials held high-level talks this past weekend, days after the new Israeli prime minister met with President Biden.

NBC’s Alex Seitz-Wald profiles Republican Larry Elder, who’s running to replace Gov. Gavin Newsom in the recall.

And NBC’s Sahil Kapur looks at the shifting progressive-versus-centrist power dynamics within the Democrats’ congressional ranks.