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Rosen makes $14 million ad reservation in Nevada Senate race

The eye-popping number is a Nevada Senate candidate record for a single ad buy.
Gabby Birenbaum
Gabby Birenbaum
Election 2024Elections

Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) placed a $14 million ad reservation for the Las Vegas and Reno media markets Thursday, a massive buy portending another expensive Senate race this cycle.

Rosen’s ads will run on television from late July through the November election. The reservation likely depleted the vast majority of her cash on hand, of which she had a record $10.6 million at the end of 2023. However, television ad reservations often do not require upfront payment. 

The ad buy comes on the heels of Rosen releasing her first ads of the cycle Monday — in English and in Spanish — and a rating change from the Cook Political Report, which moved the Nevada Senate race from “Lean Democrat” to “Toss-Up” on Wednesday. 

Democrats currently hold a 51-49 advantage in the Senate and are likely to lose a seat in West Virginia after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced his retirement. That means each of the seven seats they are defending in red or swing states could swing the balance of power in the chamber — a loss by Rosen would all but guarantee a Republican takeover of the Senate.  

The extraordinary ad reservation set a Nevada record for a single spending announcement by a Senate candidate. In March 2022, Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) made a $10 million ad reservation for the two month run-up to the election. She went on to win by less than 1 percentage point in the closest Senate race in the country.

Rosen’s $14 million spend is the clearest example yet of what her fundraising advantage can buy. None of her potential Republican challengers had more than $2 million in their campaign accounts going into the year; while GOP front-runner Sam Brown posted a $2.2 million first quarter, his best yet of the cycle, he has yet to launch ads.

Brown still has to get through a primary with candidates including former Trump ambassador to Iceland Jeff Gunter, who announced a $3.3 million ad buy calling himself “110% pro-Trump” in an effort to take on Brown from the right. 

Rosen will also be buoyed by a $36 million ad reservation from Senate Majority PAC, the Democratic mega-spender associated with Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) counterpart, Senate Leadership Fund, has not yet announced any Nevada spending plans.

Nevada’s 2022 Senate contest set state records for spending, with Cortez Masto dropping $62 million and outside groups contributing another $71 million en route to her narrow victory. On the Republican side, challenger Adam Laxalt spent nearly $18 million and outside groups added more than $51 million, meaning more than $200 million was spent to reach a state of less than 2 million registered voters.


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