Ad buying of a Democratic Super PAC shows a growing battle for control of the House

WASHINGTON — The House Democrats’ top Political Action Committee is spending nearly $102 million to book ad spots in 50 media markets, f...


WASHINGTON — The House Democrats’ top Political Action Committee is spending nearly $102 million to book ad spots in 50 media markets, from Bangor, Maine, to San Diego, Calif., a dramatically larger battleground and more expensive than it was in the last two congressional elections.

The breadth of the Congressional map reveals the extent of Democrats’ concerns about holding seats in the midterm elections. Areas once considered safe, such as South Texas, greater Pittsburgh and Seattle will see Democratic advertising.

But Democrats will also play an offensive role, particularly in California, where redistricting has opened up Republican targets.

“We are doing whatever it takes to hold a majority, and there are opportunities all over the map,” said Abby Curran Horrell, executive director of the House Democrats Political Action Committee, known as of House Majority PAC, adding: “We are confident about the races we plan to play.

His Republican counterpart, Dan Conston of the Congressional Leadership Fund, said the huge spending is a sign of weakness and an admission that inflation, rising crime rates and an unpopular Democratic president will cost not only Democrats in swing districts, but will also win some districts for President Biden. easily fiercely competitive.

“I think they believe they’ve already lost the majority,” he said. “It’s about avoiding losses in some deep blue, traditionally Democratic areas.”

The spending comes even as redistricting has reduced the number of districts considered competitive based on election results in 2020. less than 40 places — potentially far fewer — who would have been narrowly divided between Republican and Democratic voters in 2020. But the new ad bookings point to a map that has stretched far beyond those districts.

Wednesday’s reservations in 51 markets stand out, even in recent history. In 2020, House Majority PAC made initial advertising reservations in 29 media markets, with half the money he spends on Wednesday. In the year of the Democratic wave of 2018, $43 million was deposited early for reservations in 33 markets.

Democrats holding swing seats will see advertising spent on their behalf. Recipients will include Representatives Jared Golden of Maine, Abigail Spanberger and Elaine Luria of Virginia, Cindy Axne of Iowa, Sharice Davids of Kansas, Angie Craig of Minnesota and Elissa Slotkin of Michigan.

But with Mr. Biden’s approval ratings hovering around 40%, House Majority PAC is setting aside ad time to defend some entrenched Democratic incumbents, whose political grips are being weakened not just by the president but by newly selected districts. Representative Sanford Bishop, for example, has represented part of southern Georgia since 1993. Yet the PAC is setting aside $2.6 million in advertising space in three media markets to boost his re-election.

A member of the Kildee family has represented the area around Flint, Michigan, for 45 years — first Dale Kildee, then his nephew Dan, who took the seat nearly a decade ago. But new district lines and a political headwind forced House Majority PAC to make a major advertising booking of over a million dollars in an attempt to salvage young Kildee’s House career. Media stations in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., will receive more than $1.7 million as the PAC tries to save Rep. Matt Cartwright, another veteran.

In Colorado, the last election seemed to turn the districts around Boulder and Denver into a reliable shade of blue. But the redistricting and the retirement of Rep. Ed Perlmutter prompted the House Majority PAC to shell out $4.4 million in Denver’s media market to defend the state’s Seventh and Eighth Districts.

And the marked shift of Hispanic voters to the Republican Party is forcing Democratic spending in South Texas to try to secure two House districts that stretch from the once-Democratic Rio Grande Valley to San Antonio and its suburbs.

Democrats are also preparing to spend big to avoid losses in Southern California, focusing their defenses on Reps. Katie Porter and Mike Levin.

Advertising bookings also show how painful it will be to defend the seats of the 31 House Democrats who have announced their retirement or who are looking for other positions. Millions of dollars will be spent to save the seats of Mr. Perlmutter and other retired Democrats, including Ron Kind of Wisconsin, Ann Kirkpatrick of Arizona, Cheri Bustos of Illinois and GK Butterfield of North Carolina .

The multitude of races in some states also challenges the efforts of Democrats. In Nevada, for example, where Democrats are trying to retain the governorship, one Senate seat and three House seats, the House Majority PAC is shelling out $11.6 million in Las Vegas alone.

Ad reservations are not all defensive. Many thanks to California Nonpartisan Redistricting Commission, Home runs in the state may be open business. The PAC is targeting Republican Representatives David Valadao, Mike Garcia and Michelle Steel, as well as the seat vacated in December by Representative Devin Nunes, another Republican.

Ms Horrell called California a “jackpot”.

Ms Horrell noted that other opportunities may arise after redistricting fights started are installed in Florida, Ohio and Maryland.

But, overall, ad bookings show a Democratic Party hot on its heels. Early bookings should save money for the House Majority PAC, as advertising costs increase in the run-up to the election. Earlier this month, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney of New York, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said his biggest concern was the amount of money raised by outside Republican groups.

The $101.8 million spent Wednesday is more than double House Majority PAC’s cash.

“It’s always a roll of the dice,” Ms Horrell said. But, she conceded, “we will always need more”.

Shane Goldmacher contributed report.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Ad buying of a Democratic Super PAC shows a growing battle for control of the House
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