National Democrats getting outspent by rival Republican groups in North Carolina’s U.S. Senate race sought to narrow the gap Tuesday by running a new commercial criticizing GOP nominee Ted Budd on his abortion views.
Senate Majority PAC, aligned with Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said it’s spending over $4 million for an ad campaign over the next two weeks, which includes a television commercial running in all major markets.
The commercial features a physician who warns viewers about Budd’s support for legislation that would restrict abortions.
“The truth is women should be in charge of their own health care decisions, not politicians like Ted Budd,” Dr. Erica Pettigrew says in the ad.
Tuesday’s announcement brings the amount spent by Senate Majority PAC against Budd or for Democratic nominee Cheri Beasley this year to $10.5 million, PAC spokesperson Veronica Yoo said.
That compares to over $20 million that the Senate Leadership Fund — which backs Republican Senate candidates and is linked to Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. — already has spent opposing Beasley, according to campaign finance reports.
Spending by the Senate Leadership Fund and other conservative and Republican groups have helped close the fundraising advantage that Beasley’s campaign had over Budd entering the summer.
Beasley, a former state Supreme Court chief justice, announced separately Tuesday that her campaign raised $13.3 million during the three months ending Sept. 30. Third-quarter campaign finance reports are due this weekend.
Beasley’s campaign already had raised $16 million since she entered the race in April 2021. Budd, a current U.S. House member, reported raising $6.4 million through June 30. The election outcome could decide which party takes a majority in the current 50-50 Senate.
Budd co-sponsored a measure last month to ban abortion nationally after 15 weeks of pregnancy, with some exceptions. He previously backed a bill that would ban abortions after cardiac activity is detected, which is usually around six weeks of fertilization.
During a televised debate last week with Beasley, Budd said “I’ve always been pro-life” and criticized Beasley for supporting federal legislation that would codify the Roe v. Wade standard for abortion rights that was struck down in June by the U.S. Supreme Court.
U.S. Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., was expected to appear at a rally for Budd in Concord late Tuesday. Beasley’s campaign said her planned events for Tuesday had been postponed due to scheduling conflicts.