One of the main national political groups providing outside financial support to Patrick Murphy's U.S. Senate campaign is further reducing its planned TV advertising time in Florida for September, the Herald/Times has confirmed.
A week after the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee announced it would delay its first week of statewide advertising until Sept. 27, the group is now cutting its ad spending for that week by 70 percent.
The DSCC had reserved $1 million in TV time for the last week of September but will now spend only $300,000 that week, a source familiar with the plan said. (Politico first reported the news.)
Democrats continue to emphasize that their shift in spending strategy isn't a reflection on Murphy's viability against Republican incumbent Sen. Marco Rubio.
The Senate Majority PAC -- a Democratic super PAC with ties to outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid -- is still scheduled to begin a planned $10 million fall ad buy in Florida on Wednesday. AFSCME, a major government workers union, also has a $1.8 million ad buy debuting this week to support Murphy.
But Republicans are still likely to find optimism in the DSCC's latest change of strategy, as they did after last week's news. They said the DSCC's decision to cancel its first week of advertising and shift its resources closer to Election Day showed Democrats were "bailing" on Murphy's "losing campaign."
"This is desperate spin from Republicans who are concerned that Senator Rubio is struggling to persuade Floridians that he won't just serve his own political ambition with another term," Murphy spokeswoman Galia Slayen said in a statement, noting the campaign has support from several outside groups, including the DSCC. "We are confident we'll have the resources necessary not just to compete, but to win this November."
The DSCC -- whose mission is to elect Democrats to the U.S. Senate -- had previously reserved $10 million in fall ad time for Florida. It's unclear whether the DSCC has reserved the time to increase its ad buy closer to the election, as an official last week said the committee intended to do.
The DSCC's spending changes come as more Senate races nationwide are considered in play for the Democrats, including states like New Hampshire where TV advertising is far cheaper than Florida. National political analysts say that could be potentially detrimental to Murphy because it means Florida isn't as essential for Democrats in their push to win enough seats to take back the U.S. Senate.