- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 9, 2020

When it comes to who wants to be majority leader in the Senate, Kentucky Republican Mitch McConnell appears to want it more than New York Democrat Charles E. Schumer.

At least that’s what is reflected by the sums each side’s super PACs have poured into the two Georgia runoff races for Senate.

Mr. McConnell’s National Republican Senatorial Committee spent $8 million in Georgia, $2 million more than Mr. Schumer’s Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spent, according to an analysis by Rick Dent, a veteran political consultant in Georgia.

Mr. McConnell and Mr. Schumer often play key roles in these PACs, which are especially active in Georgia’s Jan. 5 runoffs that will determine which party controls the upper chamber.

Mr. Schumer and his Democrats will seize control of the chamber by winning both Georgia races, securing a 50-50 split with presumed Vice President-elect Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote.

But the NRSC and DCCC figures are mere drops in the bucket. With the meter still running, GOP spending has topped $235 million and Democrats shelled out $144.1 million, the analysis shows.

“The numbers, no matter how you divide them up, are almost too hard for professionals to comprehend, much less for citizens seeing the barrage of ads hitting them in their homes,” Mr. Dent said. “When a negative ad is run more than 1,800 times statewide in a seven-day period you have to wonder if all this money will make a bit of difference.”

The larger chunk of Republican spending — $121.4 million — has been in the race between GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Raphael Warnock, her Democratic challenger. That compares to the $114 million attributed to GOP sources in Republican Sen. David Perdue’s reelection bid against Democrat Jon Ossoff.

Democratic outfits have spent $75.7 million on behalf of Mr. Warnock and another $68.4 million on Mr. Ossoff’s run.

Despite the Republican edge in overall spending, the Democratic challengers’ campaigns have far outraised the Republican incumbents.

The campaigns of Mr. Warnock and Mr. Ossoff have spent $59 million and $50 million, respectively. That compares to the $43.9 million spent by the Loeffler campaign and $33 million by Mr. Perdue.

When the current totals are added to the $220 million that was spent on the Nov. 3 general election, it totals more than $600 million spent on two Senate seats.

Among the PACs, the lion’s share of Republican spending — $44 million — is in the Loeffler-Warnock race and came from the conservative American Crossroads PAC.

The single biggest boost thus far to Mr. Perdue has come from Mr. McConnell’s Senate Leadership Fund, which dropped $40 million in the runoff.

Mr. Schumer’s Senate Majority PAC has been rather quiet in the runoff after spending $28 million on Mr. Ossoff’s in the general election, according to recent figures.

One offshoot of the Senate Majority PAC, The Georgia Way PAC, has spent $7.8 million on Mr. Ossoff. The Georgia Republican filed a complaint this week with the FEC alleging The Georgia Way and the Ossoff campaign had coordinated in violation of campaign finance laws.

• James Varney can be reached at jvarney@washingtontimes.com.

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