So how has McConnell reacted?
The Senate Leadership Fund, a super-PAC associated with McConnell, reduced its advertising budget in Arizona by around $8 million in August.
It was reported that McConnell was in talks with billionaire entrepreneur Peter Thiel, who spent more than $13 million on behalf of Masters through the Saving Arizona PAC in the primary, to provide financial support for Masters for the general election as well.
According to The Washington Post, those talks failed.
Despite that, Thiel, who is Masters’s friend and longtime employer, has resumed spending in the Arizona Senate race.
In addition, Thiel’s Saving Arizona PAC announced it will be spending specifically to promote Masters.
The Sentinel Action Fund, a super-PAC associated with the conservative-issues group Heritage Action for America, has pledged to spend at least $5 million to boost Masters. Some $3.5 million from its fund will be dedicated to television ads, while $1.5 million will fund voter outreach.
So what is the score on the fundraising?
By the end of June 2022, the Kelly campaign had raised around $55 million, while the Masters campaign reported raising around $5 million, according to the Associated Press.
This has enabled Kelly to conduct a prolonged smear campaign against Masters, reaching every inch of Arizona digitally and geographically.
Kelly is pushing the narrative that Masters is a dangerous conservative fringe candidate. This seems to be congruent with Biden’s recent utterances, where he baselessly and viciously attacked MAGA Republicans as semi-fascists and extremists.
Masters fired back and questioned Kelly’s description of himself as a moderate since he often toes the Democratic Party line.
According to a FiveThirtyEight tracker that monitors the voting records of congressional members, Kelly has voted in line with Joe Biden’s position an astounding 94.4 percent of the time, with Conservative Review giving the Arizona Democrat an “F” grade for consistently voting for Biden’s leftist agenda.
How does the advertisement budget compare overall?
So far in Arizona, Democrats have purchased $39 million’s worth of ads between now and Election Day, compared to $14 million from Republicans.
Should Masters emerge victorious in Arizona, it would not only put the GOP one step closer to retaking the Senate, but also rid the legislative body of one of its most radical members in Mark Kelly.
Yet McConnell seems indifferent.
McConnell’s motives for not supporting Masters are possibly personal.
During the heated primary campaign, Masters said the minority leader needs to be replaced and that McConnell is not exactly adept at legislating.
Since his triumph at the GOP Arizona primary, Masters expressed hope for McConnell’s support while conceding that he’s “not Mitch McConnell’s favorite candidate.”
Masters isn’t the only candidate receiving a cold shoulder from McConnell.
Senate Republican nominees such as J.D. Vance (Ohio), Mehmet Oz (Pennsylvania), Adam Laxalt (Nevada), and Herschel Walker (Georgia), all of whom were endorsed and backed by President Donald Trump during their states’ respective GOP primaries, haven’t exactly received much financial support, either.
This financial support is vital because it enables campaigns to counter Democrat smear campaigns and reach out to independent or ignorant voters.
In August, McConnell questioned the caliber of some of the Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate.
McConnell said the following regarding the midterms:
“I think there’s probably a greater likelihood the House flips than the Senate. Senate races are just different — they’re statewide, candidate quality has a lot to do with the outcome.”
This is shocking and unprecedented.
In politics, every candidate and his party leader always display optimism and confidence about their chances in electoral races, even for the candidate who is doing poorly.
But McConnell is spreading negativity about his own party.
What could the reason be?
Perhaps because he knows that if the GOP wins with a significant number of MAGA candidates in the Senate, he will lose his leadership position.
McConnell, hence, would prefer a GOP loss if it means him retaining his status as leader rather than the GOP winning a majority in the Senate but him being relegated to the back benches.