While the presidential campaign commands the most attention, Senate Democrats are bearing an early television advertising assault by Republican-leaning groups that is reshaping those races. Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio and former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine, who is seeking a Senate seat, are being outspent by at least a 3-to-1 ratio on television advertising as super political action committees supporting Democrats struggle to raise money and President Barack Obama and the national party conserve resources for the fall election.
Brown and his allies have spent $2.5 million on television advertising, compared with the $8 million spent by such Republican groups as American Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, a tax-exempt organization that doesn’t disclose its donors, according to Democratic and Republican analysis shared with Bloomberg News.
“These individuals, these billionaires, realize that small numbers of people can have a huge impact,” Brown said in a telephone interview. “It’s very one-sided,” he said. “This outside money is bad for the system.” The contrast is sharpest in Virginia, where Kaine supporters have spent $385,000, compared with $1.9 million by such groups as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.