The National Republican Congressional Committee launched its first television ad of the 2014 cycle this week, targeting Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter of New Hampshire. The 30-second spot criticizes Shea-Porter for voting against the "No Budget, No Pay Act," a bill that would withhold pay from members if Congress fails to pass a budget.
"Congress hasn’t passed a budget, but Congress still gets paid," the ad's narrator says. "Carol Shea-Porter voted to keep it that way. That may fly in Washington, but not here in New Hampshire."
Shea-Porter told WMUR that she voted against the bill because only House and Senate leaders can force a vote on the budget. She explained that if leadership doesn't schedule a vote, middle class members of Congress would be penalized by the legislation. "The wealthy people in the House and Senate can go without the pay, but others will be hurt along with their families for something that wasn't their decision," Shea-Porter said.
A WMUR-TV Granite State Poll conducted earlier this month showed Shea-Porter in a potentially vulnerable position heading into the 2014 cycle. Thirty-eight percent of adults in the state's 1st Congressional District said they had a favorable view of Shea-Porter, while 39 percent had an unfavorable view.
The NRCC's ad buy is relatively light -- $20,000 over two weeks, according to WMUR. But the early television spot is representative of an emerging trend: As the Cook Political Report's David Wasserman pointed out last week, spending on House campaigns has become increasingly frontloaded. The percentage of total spending on House races that took place before Labor Day jumped from 56 percent in 2010 to 62 percent in 2012. With a smaller pool of competitive races and without redistricting to delay some campaigns, that percentage likely will increase in 2014.