Dem super PAC reserves $6.5 million in fall air time for key House races

April 18, 2014

By Sean Sullivan

House Majority PAC, the leading super PAC backing Democratic candidates for U.S. House, has reserved $6.5 million for fall television advertisements in two dozen districts, it announced Friday.

Three-quarters of the districts in which House Majority PAC has reserved air time are Democratic-controlled, underscoring Democrats’ challenge this year: Even as the party out of power in the House would like to make gains, it has plenty of vulnerable seats to protect.

Among the Democrats House Majority PAC is trying to safeguard are three in Arizona, Reps. Ron Barber, Ann Kirkpatrick and Kyrsten Sinema. A trio of Californians, Reps. Ami Bera, Raul Ruiz and Scott Peters are also on the list. In Illinois, where Democrats had a lot of success in 2012, the group is looking to shield Rep. Brad Schneider and Cheri Bustos. The organization has also reserved time in both New Hampshire districts, each held by a Democrat, as well as as a trio of New York districts represented by Democrats.

The six Republican-held seats House Majority PAC is targeting are that of Rep. Mike Coffman (Colo.), Steve Southerland (Fla.), Michael Grimm (N.Y.), John Kline (Minn.), Rodney Davis (Ill.) and Iowa’s 3rd district, where Rep. Tom Latham is retiring.

A review of which seats are not part of the reserve also sheds light on the Democratic group’s strategy. Vulnerable Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), who has faced an early onslaught of conservative attack ads, is not included. Majority PAC has already gone up on the air to defend Rahall, but it could be taking a wait-and-see approach to his race.

The seats being vacated by retiring Reps Jim Matheson (D-Utah) and Mike McIntyre (D-.N.C.) are also absent. The two seats are favored to fall into Republican hands. The fall reservation further confirms the tilt of the two races.

Politico first reported the group’s reservations.

Democrats must win back 17 seats to claim the majority this fall. Strategists in both parties acknowledge that is an all but impossible task. The question of whether Democrats will even gain seats overall is up in the air.

Advertising reservations are subject to change, and the size of the buys could fluctuate. The group is getting an earlier start than it did last cycle. In 2012, House Majority PAC did not make its first wave of reservations until July.

“By placing these reservations early, we will make our dollars go further and ensure we have the air time to effectively fight back against the flood of Koch brothers’ dollars,” said Alixandria Lapp, House Majority PAC’s executive director.

Here’s a full list of what House Majority PAC is reserving and where:

Arizona 01: $420,785
Arizona 02: $138,693
Arizona 09: $420,785
California 07: $189,610
California 36: $112,219
California 52: $512,190
Colorado 06: $425,330
Florida 02: $232,120
Florida 18: $561,423
Florida 26: $175,894
Iowa 03: $125,127
Illinois 10: $229,354
Illinois 13: $143,878
Illinois 17: $128,898
Massachusetts 06: $124,020
Minnesota 02: $329,371
Minnesota 08: $354,265
New Hampshire 01: $162,253
New Hampshire 02: $162,253
New York 01: $394,706
New York 11: $162,759
New York 18: $565,900
New York 24: $166,254
Texas 23: $221,347

From The Washington Post on April 18, 2014