July 15, 2022
During the 2020 special election, Democrat Mark Kelly narrowly won the U.S. Senate seat in Arizona against incumbent Martha McSally (R). In a key race for the 2022 midterms, Kelly will face off for re-election against a Republican candidate in the November general election. Republican candidates and Super PACs are ramping up political advertisement spending with the Arizona primary quickly approaching on August 2nd. With early voting and mail in voting already underway for this election, we will look at the spending analytics insights for this primary.
When analyzing GOP advertisement spending for the Arizona Senate seat, The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) leads with over $14M spent on advertisements for the primary and general election. Most of this spending ($8M) is pre-booked spending for the general election in November. The largest buy from the NRSC is placed for October 2022 with $4.5M pre-booked for broadcast ads. The Senate Leadership Fund PAC, a Republican PAC, has spent $10M on advertisements for both primary and the general election. Similarly, this PAC has spent $5M on broadcast ads for October 2022. One Nation, another GOP PAC, has spent $9M on advertisements for the upcoming primary election. The PAC has spent over $2 million on broadcast. These advertisements focus negatively on incumbent Mark Kelly, highlighting inflation, government spending, and Kelly’s relationship with President Biden.
Among Republican candidate primary spending analytics, Jim Lamon and Blake Masters have spent the most on advertising out of all the candidates, particularly on attack ads against each other. Lamon has spent $5M on broadcast ads attacking Masters and contrasting the two candidates. A recent ad released by Lamon’s campaign highlights Masters’ association with California big tech and calls him a tech puppet.
Blake Masters’ campaign has spent $1M on advertisements. It is expected the campaign will be spending more because of the recent endorsement by Donald Trump, which will likely influence the primaries. In addition to Masters’ campaign spending, billionaire Peter Thiel has funded a pro-Masters super PAC, Saving Arizona that has spent $7M. In one broadcast ad by the Super PAC, they positively highlight Masters’ recent endorsement by Donald Trump, stating “Masters is pro-Trump, pro-life, and pro-American.” Another ad by the PAC attacked Jim Lamon and his relationship with China, claiming “Lamon built four power plants for Communist China,” and that Lamon “opposes Trump, is pro-China and is selling out American workers.”
While Republicans are gearing up for the primaries, Democrat incumbent Mark Kelly is preparing for the general election on November 8. Kelly’s campaign has spent a total of $24.1M so far, outspending any of the Republican PACs and candidates in the race. Most of Kelly’s ad spending is going towards broadcast in the Phoenix and Tucson market. Kelly has spent $11.9M on broadcast, $6.4M on cable, and $5.8M on digital ads. Recent broadcast ads airing in the past week have concentrated on Kelly’s strong relationship with law enforcement and helping small business owners. Aside from broadcast, Kelly has also spent millions on digital advertisements on Facebook and Google.
With the primary day only a few weeks away, and the general election also around the corner, we have already seen millions put towards advertisements by both Republicans and Democrats for the Arizona Senate seat. We will continue to track spending analytics insights throughout the primaries and follow up to the general election.