Map: Senate Republicans race to early spending lead

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Democratic strategists have warned Republicans will outspend them by millions of dollars in the battle for the Senate. And about five and a half months before Election Day, their fears are bearing out: Republicans aiming to reclaim control of the United States Senate have spent more money in battleground states than Democrats fighting to hold their majority.

Public records filed with television stations across the country show Republican candidates, campaign committees and allied outside groups have spent more than their Democratic counterparts in all but one state.

But both sides are pouring unprecedented amounts of money into the critical races. Combined, Democrats and Republicans have spent more than $12 million so far in North Carolina, where Sen. Kay Hagan (D) faces a difficult re-election battle. Outside groups have bought advertising totaling more than $18 million stretching from now through Election Day in Alaska, where Sen. Mark Begich (D) is seeking a second term.

Here’s our look at which side has the spending advantage in each state since Jan. 1, 2014:

A note about methodology: We’re only including money spent on general election advertisements. That means the millions of dollars being spent in states with primaries — primarily Iowa and Georgia — aren’t counted. We’ll start counting those states after the primaries are decided. Similarly, most of the money spent in Kentucky so far has been in the Republican primary. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) have only just started spending on general election ads, which is all we’re counting.

Check back each week for updated spending figures.

Reid Wilson covers state politics and policy for the Washington Post's GovBeat blog. He's a former editor in chief of The Hotline, the premier tip sheet on campaigns and elections, and he's a complete political junkie.
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Reid Wilson | May 19