The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has reserved $1.2 million in airtime in North Dakota, according to a source with knowledge of the ad buy, an indication that Democrats are optimistic about an open seat that might have easily slipped away from them.
The ads will run between October 2 and Election Day.
Democrats are pinning their hopes on former Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp, who is polling close to or ahead of Rep. Rick Berg in several recent surveys. The latest, a Mason-Dixon poll conducted for KVLY/KFYR TV, showed the two candidates statistically tied, with Heitkamp at 47 percent versus Berg's 46 percent.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee has not yet purchased time in North Dakota. NRSC officials are confident about Berg's chances, but they believe the race will be a single-digit affair.
The Democratic buy is the latest in a series of advertising time the DSCC has reserved in October in states with key Senate races. The committee has also reserved $4.5 million in Missouri; $3.2 million in Montana; $7.5 million in Virginia; and $5.1 million in Ohio (a Democratic source says the Ohio buy is likely to grow).
The NRSC has bought a total of $25 million in Wisconsin, Missouri, Montana, Virginia, Nevada and New Mexico.