Candidates and outside groups have spent nearly $14 million on an unending ad blitz in the race to replace Rep. Tom Price’s suburban Atlanta seat, and that tally that will surely grow in the final days before Tuesday’s nationally-watched vote.
An analysis of the advertising obtained by the AJC shows the biggest spender by far is Democrat Jon Ossoff, a former Congressional aide who is eyeing a historic upset in next week’s vote.
His campaign has spent more than $5.3 million on radio, TV and cable ads since late February. He can afford it: He’s raised more than $8.3 million and spent the bulk of it on advertisements introducing himself, vowing he’ll stand up to Donald Trump and countering attack ads.
No Republican candidate can match his financial firepower, though Dan Moody came the closest. One of 11 GOP contenders in the race, the former state senator pumped about $2 million into campaign ads, including spots with an endorsement from Sen. David Perdue and an attack on GOP rival Karen Handel.
Other GOP contenders trailed in ad spending. Judson Hill spent nearly $400,000 on ads – including a recent one that also targeted Handel – and Bob Gray has pumped another $240,000 into cable and broadcast spots. Handel, who leads the GOP field in most polls, has spent less than $100,000 on ads.
Two major outside groups have provided two of the candidates with a major boost. Club for Growth, which backs Gray, has spent roughly $500,000. And Ending Spending, a super PAC that endorsed Handel, reserved more than $700,000 in ads – and said it expects the spend about $1.5 million through Tuesday.
Their ads largely ignore Ossoff, but two national GOP groups have unleashed nearly $4 million in ads assailing him. Many criticize the 30-year-old former Congressional aide’s experience, paint him as a liberal or cast him as a threat to conservative values.
The biggest spender is the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC with ties to House GOP leaders which has spent more than $2.1 million on a wave of attack ads targeting Ossoff. The group’s latest ad, unveiled Thursday, is the latest in a string that ties Ossoff to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
The National Republican Congressional Committee has unleashed another $1.8 million in commercials seeking to thwart Ossoff’s campaign. And other major groups are weighing in: The Republican National Committee recently swooped in with an anti--Ossoff buy.
Check out the Congressional Leadership Fund's latest ad below: