Amid the millions of dollars American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS is spending on the presidential contest, the groups' efforts to win back control of the Senate is beginning to take shape. The latest effort: An $800,000 ad buy in North Dakota, where Rep. Rick Berg and former Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp are locked in a neck-and-neck contest over retiring Sen. Kent Conrad's seat.
Crossroads GPS will spend the money on ads that will run from September to the middle of October, according to two sources watching the ad market.
The group has also purchased $74,000 for a week of advertising beginning July 27 in the El Paso, Texas, media market. Observers think that buy is aimed at another open seat held by retiring Democrat Jeff Bingaman, where Rep. Martin Heinrich (D) and ex-Rep. Heather Wilson are duking it out. Karl Rove, a senior Crossroads strategist, has long been a big Wilson fan.
All told, the ad buys mean American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS have spent more than $90 million on television ads so far this year -- about one-third of the $300 million they've said publicly they will raise and spend.
My full write-up, including state-by-state details on Crossroads' pre-election blitz, is here.