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Outside groups have spent nearly $28M on Indiana Senate race this month

October 26, 2018

More than 30 outside groups have spent nearly $28 million on Indiana’s U.S. Senate race so far in October, with a slight edge toward money to support Democratic incumbent Joe Donnelly.

Fifteen groups have spent a total of $14 million to either support Donnelly or oppose his challenger, Republican Mike Braun, while 16 groups have spent a total of $13.7 million to either support Braun or oppose Donnelly.

It’s a big jump from the end of August. At that point, only 13 outside super PACs had spent a total of $14.3 million in Indiana to try to influence the nationally watched race.

The biggest spender for Donnelly this month has been the Senate Majority PAC, which is affiliated with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and supports Senate Democrats. SMP has spent nearly $4.4 million in October so far.

The other groups that have hit seven-figure totals this month for Donnelly all waited until recently to get involved in the race.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which stayed out of Indiana until September, has spent nearly $3 million here this month. The DSCC is the major organization supporting Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate.

The National Association of Realtors PAC has spent about $2.5 million supporting Donnelly or opposing Braun with nearly all of the spending occurring in October.

And Majority Forward, which is considered an ally organization to SMP, waited until the beginning of September to invest in Indiana’s Senate race. In October, the group spent $1.4 million for Donnelly.

On Braun’s side, the Senate Leadership Fund—the group connected to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell—spent more than $6.5 million in October and is the top spender for the Jasper businessman.

Similar to the Democratic-supporting groups, two of the top spending groups supporting Braun also waited until the past couple of months to take action.

America First Action Inc., which is a super PAC with ties to President Donald Trump, spent $2.8 million in October—its first month of involvement in Indiana.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee, which didn’t get involved until September, has spent $2.5 million this month. The NRSC is the primary organization supporting Republican candidates for U.S. Senate.

But one of the biggest spenders from the summer months for Braun dropped spending in October. One Nation, the group backed by Karl Rove, spent more than $6 million in advertising through September to push voters toward Braun, but the organization had not spent money or reserved time for October as of Oct. 16.

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