Mostly False
Davis
"The House GOP super PAC in DC is spending more to help my opponent than anyone else."

Paul Davis on Thursday, October 11th, 2018 in a tweet

No, the House GOP super PAC isn't spending the most in Kansas 2nd, but they are spending a lot

In this Aug. 24, 2018, file photo, Paul Davis, the Democratic candidate in the 2nd Congressional District in Kansas, answers questions during a news conference in Topeka, Kan. (AP)

As we close in on the last month before the midterms, the ad wars continue to escalate.

Political groups are pouring money into congressional districts to make their candidates look good, or more often, opposing candidates to look bad.

It is going on all over the country, but Paul Davis’ campaign claims that an outside GOP PAC is spending the most in Kansas’ 2nd Congressional District.

In a recent tweet, Davis, the Democrat running for the seat that includes Topeka, Lawrence and communities west of Kansas City, said that "the House GOP super PAC in DC is spending more to help my opponent than anyone else."

It is true that the Congressional Leadership Fund - the leading GOP super PAC affiliated with House Republican leadership - is pouring money into the district, but the Davis campaign is exaggerating. Davis is one of the top targets of the super PAC, but he's not No. 1. 

Here, we look at just how much is being funneled into the district from CLF and how it measures up to other House races around the country.

What the Davis campaign says

The Davis campaign told us the claim is based off a CNN report released in late September.

In the report, CNN examined the top districts where the Congressional Leadership Fund was spending its money on ad buys.

It found that, as of Sept. 21 (when the report was published), CLF had poured $1.9 million into the district, nabbing the top spot on its list.

Colorado’s 6th Congressional District and California’s 48th followed with $1.6 million and $1.5 million spent by CLF.

Most of the television advertising were attacks on Democrats.

This is definitely visible in KS-2. In September alone, the PAC aired four attack ads against Davis.

How much is actually being spent in the district by outside groups and CLF

We checked the OpenSecrets.org database, a widely cited campaign finance tracking resource published by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Interestingly, the database shows that so far in the race, CLF has spent more than $3.2 million, nearly double CNN’s estimate, but still doesn’t list the district as the top one for the group's spending.

Besides more than $6 million spent attacking Jon Ossoff, who lost to Republican U.S. Rep. Karen Handel in a 2017 special election, the top Democrat CLF is spending against is Democrat Joe Radinovich, who is running against Republican candidate Pete Stauber in Minnesota's 8th District. So far, CLF has spent nearly $3.9 million against him.

But while Davis isn't the top Democrat that CLF is spending money against (he comes in at No. 7), the KS-2 race overall takes 4th place when factoring in the money the super PAC has spent in support of Watkins.

 

Races

CLF $ Against

Democrats

CLF $ For

Republicans

Total $ Spent

1. California 39th

$3,839,570

$94,442

$3,934,012

2. Minnesota 8th

$3,893,273

$8,660

$3,901,933

3. California 25th

$2,880,372

$584,715

$3,465,087

4. Kansas 2nd

$2,937,462

$390,063

$3,327,525

5. California 45th

$3,068,325

$241,959

$3,310,284

6. New York 27th

$3,013,190

$117,732

$3,130,922

7. Pennsylvania 18th

$3,077,399

$1,047

$3,078,446

8. California 10th

$3,067,550

$6,153

$3,073,703

9. California 48th

$2,791,949

$80,687

$2,872,636

10. Minnesota 3rd

$2,664,035

$63,944

$2,727,979

 
Our ruling

The Davis campaign says that the House GOP super PAC is spending more to help out Watkins than anyone else.

The Republican Super PAC is airing a torrent of attack ads against Davis and spending a lot of money in the district. But records show that Davis is not the top taget for CLF, though the district is listed among the top 5. Still, that doesn’t make Watkins the top recipient of such efforts.

We rate the statement Mostly False.

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Mostly False
Says that the House GOP super PAC in DC is spending more to help my opponent than anyone else."
Thursday, October 11, 2018