An independent super PAC aligned with Heritage Action for America, the political arm of the conservative Heritage Foundation, is launching a seven-figure ad buy in New Hampshire behind Republican Senate candidate Don Bolduc.
Politico published details of the late-race investment from the Sentinel Action Fund Friday afternoon, details which were confirmed by The Federalist. The Sentinel Action Fund is a project of Heritage Action to support candidates with widespread approval among grassroots activists.
The group is pumping $1 million in the New Hampshire Senate contest with less than two weeks until Election Day to go after Democrat incumbent Maggie Hassan. Ads will begin airing in the state Wednesday.
“Senator Maggie Hassan has supported Biden and Schumer across the board, and it’s time for her to go,” Sentinel Action Fund President Jessica Anderson told The Federalist. “General Don Bolduc will always fight for New Hampshire. He is a political outsider who will fight the Biden agenda at every turn. It’s time for every corner of the conservative movement to come together and support his surging candidacy.”
The Sentinel Action Fund had already been spending against Hassan before Bolduc won the September primary. July ads targeted the New Hampshire Democrat on gas prices as Americans faced record pain at the pump throughout the summer due to White House suppression of domestic energy production.
The late-race spending comes after a series of polls showed Bolduc well within the margin of error against the Democrat incumbent, exposing a ripe opportunity for a key pickup in the upper chamber. Despite the contest narrowing in Bolduc’s favor, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s super PAC to reclaim the majority, the Senate Leadership Fund (SLF), began to pull its remaining funding from the race. SLF announced $5.6 million in canceled spending on behalf of Bolduc Friday last week.
The SLF announcement came two days after Bolduc, who was roundly opposed by the Washington establishment throughout the primary, maintained his opposition to McConnell for another term in GOP leadership. SLF did not respond to The Federalist’s repeated inquiries as to whether the super PAC reviewed polling which showed the Republican nominee within the margin of error prior to pulling out.
Heritage’s Sentinel Action Fund also stepped into the Arizona Senate race after McConnell similarly abandoned Republican venture capitalist Blake Masters’ bid to oust Democrat Sen. Mark Kelly. McConnell’s super PAC pulled $18 million from the race through August and September with no plans to reinject capital. Instead, the SLF has dropped more than $5 million to interfere in the Alaska Senate contest between two Republicans.
McConnell’s group has flooded the Alaska airwaves on behalf of incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who is fending off a challenge from Kelly Tshibaka. Tshibaka is endorsed by the state GOP and former President Donald Trump. The Senate leader’s interference in the state’s interparty affairs earned McConnell a formal censure from the Alaska Republican state central committee.
Tshibaka and Masters have both similarly pledged to oppose McConnell’s bid for another term as conference leader.
The Sentinel Action Fund has pumped more than $7 million into the Arizona Senate race to date.
The National Republican Senate Committee (NRSC) has also jumped in to support competitive candidates abandoned by the top elected Republican in the country. Chaired by Florida Sen. Rick Scott, the NRSC has spent nearly $10 million to support Masters, more than any other candidate this cycle, according to OpenSecrets.
In New Hampshire, the NRSC has spent nearly $3 million for Bolduc with more cash on the way.
“Our polling, along with recent public polling, shows that this race is in the margin of error and winnable,” Scott told Axios in an interview published Tuesday. “The NRSC is proud to stand with General Bolduc. We’re going to win this race so Don Bolduc can bring real leadership back to this Senate seat.”
Scott previously admonished McConnell with a blistering op-ed published in the Washington Examiner at the start of election season after the minority leader complained of “candidate quality.”
“I think there’s probably a greater likelihood the House flips than the Senate,” McConnell said on Fox News in August. “Senate races are just different, they’re statewide. Candidate quality has a lot to do with the outcome.”
Scott fired back.
“Ultimately, though, when you complain and lament that we have ‘bad candidates,’ what you are really saying is that you have contempt for the voters who chose them,” Scott wrote. “Republicans need to be leaders that build up the team and do everything they can to get the entire team over the finish line.”