“Why are we cutting in August? I’ve never seen it like this before”

Since Aug. 1, the NRSC has cut ad buys in the battleground states of Pennsylvania ($7.5 million), Arizona ($3.5 million), Wisconsin ($2.5 million) and Nevada ($1.5 million), according to the ad tracking service AdImpact. Separately, a Democratic source tracking advertising buys estimated roughly $10.5 million in cuts by the NRSC since the first of the month.

“People are asking, ‘What the hell is going on?’” said one Republican strategist working on Senate races. “Why are we cutting in August? I’ve never seen it like this before.”…

The person familiar with the NRSC’s deliberations said the committee is swapping some of its independent expenditure spending for coordinated and hybrid spending with campaigns. The latter category imposes more rules on how much can be spent and what the ads can say, though it allows the committee to purchase ad time at a candidate discount, rather than a much steeper outside group rate.

But the numbers show that the NRSC has cut significantly more than it has booked back, indicating a potential cash strain at the committee. Second-quarter filings showed the DSCC had nearly twice the cash on hand as its Republican counterpart, $53.5 million to the NRSC’s $28.5 million.

Another Republican strategist referred to the recent cuts as “unreal,” noting that the NRSC had not eliminated any ad time in New Hampshire, where there won’t be a GOP nominee until mid-September — and where there’s no clear frontrunner in the meantime.