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One map that shows why Republicans are nervous they won't take back the Senate

Andrew Prokop is a senior politics correspondent at Vox, covering the White House, elections, and political scandals and investigations. He’s worked at Vox since the site’s launch in 2014, and before that, he worked as a research assistant at the New Yorker’s Washington, DC, bureau.

Democratic supporters often fear that in this post-Citizens United age of unprecedented political spending, their candidates' campaigns are doomed to be drowned out by conservative billionaires. But Kantar/CMAG and the Wesleyan Media Project totaled the number of Senate ads run by candidates and outside groups over two recent weeks — and it turns out that Democrats had a clear advantage in most key states:

Ad spending

Some of the largest ad advantages for Democrats have been in Colorado and Michigan, where they are leading, as well as Arkansas and Georgia, where GOP candidates appear to have the edge. Republicans only had a sizable ad advantage in one key state — New Hampshire, where Scott Brown seems to have recently gained a bit of ground in pollsClick over to read the Wesleyan Media Project's full analysis here.

Some of this advantage is because more Democratic incumbents are at risk, and incumbents usually have an easier time raising money than challengers. But Democrats are getting substantial support from Super PACs and dark money groups as well — the Washington Post's Matea Gold describes how close allies of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are coordinating a major outside spending effort. The top disclosed donors to these pro-Democratic groups include wealthy financiers Tom Steyer and James Simons, as well as media mogul Fred Eychaner and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and several unions, according to OpenSecrets.

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