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Pittsburgh market has seen the most ads in high-stakes Senate race


The Pittsburgh television market has been flooded with more campaign ads in Pennsylvania’s high-stakes U.S. Senate race than any other market in the state, according to data obtained by the Tribune-Review.

So far, all of the ads are from Republicans.

Advertising data obtained by the Trib shows the Pittsburgh market received 18,074 Gross Rating Points — or GRPs — in GOP Senate ads between Nov. 30 and last Tuesday. GRPs are a measurement of advertisements’ reach and frequency. Pittsburghers have received about eight times what is considered adequate when it comes to the reach and frequency of the GOP Senate ads, and they’re likely seeing several ads on TV per week.

The Pittsburgh market includes 13 Western Pennsylvania counties surrounding Pittsburgh, Monongalia and Preston counties in West Virginia and Garrett County in Maryland. Republican candidates and super PACs have spent more than $30 million so far trying to sway voters in the Senate race, the advertising data showed.

Super PACs are independent political action committees that can raise unlimited funds from corporations, unions, associations and individuals. While they aren’t allowed to communicate or work directly with campaigns, the super PACs can spend their money supporting a candidate or running ads against that candidate’s opponents.

The vast majority of the Senate are coming from or in support of two GOP candidates: surgeon and television personality Mehmet Oz of Montgomery County and former hedge fund CEO and veteran David McCormick, who recently bought a house in Pittsburgh.

In addition to Oz and McCormick, the crowded GOP field also includes business owner Jeff Bartos, political commentator Kathy Barnette, attorney George Bochetto, former Montgomery County Commissioner candidate Sean Gale, former U.S. Ambassador to Denmark Carla Sands and businessman Everett Stern. The Democratic race is down to Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta and U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb.

Here’s a look at some of the most heavily aired ads in the race:

Super PAC ad attacks McCormick

An ad from American Leadership Action, a super PAC supporting Oz, attacks McCormick over his history managing hedge funds and companies.

It claims McCormick invested billions of dollars in China. McMormick served as CEO of Bridgewater Associates from 2020 until Jan. 3, when he stepped down to run for Senate. In November, Bridgewater launched a $1.25 billion investment fund in China, with vocal support from Bridgewater founder Ray Dialo, the Wall Street Journal reported.

After news of the investment broke, McCormick said he disagreed with Dialo’s stances on China, according to Bloomberg.

McCormick campaign spokesperson Jess Szymanski touted McCormick’s experience in the Bush administration negotiating trade deals with China and said that “under his hard-line approach, some of the toughest regulations on China were enacted.”

“Dave’s reputation holding China accountable —…


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