A Democratic-aligned super PAC run by two former Obama White House aides has begun reserving $30 million worth of television ad time in six swing states as it seeks to combat the heavy spending by conservative outside groups.
Priorities USA Action is reserving time in Colorado, Iowa, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia, according to sources familiar with the buy. Those sources would not indicate whether this was the totality of the ad spending Priorities USA Action would make on the election or whether this was the first flight of a broader buy. The group, in coordination with the Service Employees International Union, is currently funding Spanish-language ads in Colorado, Florida and Nevada — an effort they say will continue.
Republican-aligned super PACs and other outside conservative groups have spent more than $144 million on general election ads in swing presidential states, a huge outlay of cash that has allowed former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney to not only combat but exceed heavy early ad spending by President Obama.
Roughly 80 percent of all ad spending by Republicans on the general election has come from these super PACs, as Romney has expended a relatively meager $35 million to date on ads in swing states, according to ad buy figures provided to the Fix by a GOP media buyer.
By contrast, the $20 million that Democratic super PACs have spent on ads so far in the general election accounts for just 19 percent of total ad spending on the Democratic side.
The top Democratic super PAC is still having trouble raising money, despite getting President Obama’s blessing.
Priorities USA Action, a super PAC founded by former White House aides, raised $2 million in February, co-founder Bill Burton confirmed Tuesday.
That’s a big step up from a dismal January, in which the PAC raised $58,000, but half of the $2 million haul came from from comedian Bill Maher’s $1 million donation.