Priorities USA to spend $75 million on 2018 midterms

Key races to watch in the Senate in 2018
Key races to watch in the Senate in 2018

    JUST WATCHED

    Key races to watch in the Senate in 2018

MUST WATCH

Key races to watch in the Senate in 2018 02:16

Washington (CNN)The Democratic group Priorities USA is increasing its budget for the 2018 midterm elections to $75 million, an aide said.

Priorities USA raised $17.6 million across its three arms -- a super PAC and two nonprofits -- in 2017. Of that, $2.1 million went to its super PAC.
The group has $26 million in commitments for donations in 2018, the aide said -- allowing Priorities USA to bump its budget for the year up from $60 million to $75 million.
    Most of that budget will be pumped into digital advertising -- bolstering the efforts of two other Democratic super PACs, the House Majority PAC and the Senate Majority PAC, to win control of Congress in November's midterms.
    "In 2017 Priorities USA began closing the digital divide between right wing conservatives and progressives," said Guy Cecil, the Priorities USA chairman. "Building on big wins in Alabama, Virginia and Florida, we are well-equipped to elect Democrats in November and hold Trump and the Republicans accountable in 2018 and beyond."
    "The strong response from our donors has enabled Priorities to expand our budget for the cycle and dedicate new resources to upgrading our data and digital infrastructure and running an unprecedented digital persuasion and mobilization campaign that will help Democrats win at every level across the country."
    Priorities USA's digital efforts included a focus on turning out young African-American voters who often skipped midterm or special elections in Alabama's US Senate contest in December. In a post-election memo with the Democratic group Color of Change, Priorities USA said it found messages focused on systemic police violence and mass incarceration of African-Americans were the most effective at motivating those voters.
    Priorities USA also launched seven-figure advertising campaigns focused on tax reform and health care -- including $2 million across five states and 20 House districts on taxes in November.
    The group funneled $910,000 into Highway 31, a pro-Doug Jones super PAC that allowed national Democrats to keep their involvement in the Alabama race quiet until they filed campaign finance reports a month after the election.